A U.S. representative from Georgia with strong ties to the Civil Rights Movement is being honored once again - but this time for his work on a graphic novel.

Congressman John Lewis was recognized as a National Book Award Winner along with co-author Andrew Aydin and illustrator Nate Powell for March: Book Three.

The book illustrates the Civil Rights Movement as it happened through the eyes of Lewis and follows the battles against Jim Crow and fights for voting rights all while telling the stories of underlying struggles in the movement itself.

In addition to becoming a #1 New York Times Bestseller, the graphic novel has the distinction of being the first graphic novel in history to ever win a National Book Award.

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But for Lewis, who took to the stage to accept the award on Nov. 17, that one moment had a much deeper meaning.

"I remember in 1956 when I was 16-years-old, some of my brothers and sisters and cousins went down to the public library trying to get library cards," he said. "And we were told that the libraries were for whites only and not for coloreds."

He wept recounting those moments and accepting the award.

"To come here and receive this prestigious award award - the honor with this, it's too much," he said.

He also remembered one of his own inspirations who pushed him to continue to read - even as the world pushed back against him and other African Americans seeking education.

"I had a wonderful teacher in elementary school who told me to read, my child, read," he said. "And I tried to read everything."

In an interview, Lewis said that this book was for everyone but especially for young people "to understand the essence of the civil rights movement, to walk through the pages of history, to learn about the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence."