The National Book Awards are like the Oscars of the literary world. A few notable graphic novels—like Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers and Saints—have been finalists in various categories over the years. Last night was the first time that a comic-book work won.

Published by Top Shelf Comix, March: Book 3 is the latest volume of an autobiographical series that recounts Congressman John Lewis’ life during the Civil Rights Movement in 1960s America. The best-selling books have been co-written by Lewis and Andrew Aydin, with art by Nate Powell. Powell’s dramatic art style makes the tension and stakes of those historical times feel vibrant and alive and the writing drives home just how much risk there was in facing down the hate and institutional racism of the day. The trilogy is a great read and very deserving of the award. You can find out more about the March series here.