Category: Recovering History

Rev. James Lawson on Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Act – 50 Years Later

In the 1950s, Rev. James Lawson of Ohio went to India as a Methodist missionary. There, he studied “satyagraha,” a set of principles and methods of nonviolent resistance developed by Mohandas Gandhi. In 1957, Dr. Martin Luther King asked Rev. Lawson to assist the nonviolent resistance movement for civil rights by sharing satyagraha with activists,…
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April 6, 2018 0

“Movement Schools” and Dialogical Diffusion of Nonviolent Praxis: Nashville Workshops in the Southern Civil Rights Movement

By: Larry W. Isaac,  Daniel B. Cornfield,  Dennis C. Dickerson,  James M. Lawson,  Jonathan S. Coley. While it is generally well-known that nonviolent collective action was widely deployed in the U.S. southern civil rights movement, there is still much that we do not know about how that came to be. Drawing on primary data that consist of detailed semi-structured interviews…
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August 1, 2017 0

Gandhi’s Paradox : The Warrior and the Pacifist

By: Lester R. Kurtz CONVENTIONAL wisdom assumes that power grows out of the barrel of a gun, as Mao put it, or is given to those who steer a course down the mainstream. Mahatma Gandhi, however, is a “counterplayer” whose success lies not in accepting dominant paradigms but in challenging them. Most of the world’s…
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August 1, 2017 0

Women and Civil Rights : A Personal Reflection

By: Mary Elizabeth King BACKGROUND In 1838, when the Antislavery Convention of American Women adopted a policy of using sit-ins and protest rides to resist slavery in the United States (Mabee, 1970, p. 115), it underlined the importance of refusing to cooperate with that cruel and inhumane system and foreshadowed the crucial role of women…
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August 1, 2017 0

Women in Civil Resistance

By: Anne-Marie Codur and Mary Elizabeth King Recent scholarship has revealed contributions of women throughout the ages to the development of nonviolent methods for waging conficts. The fndings are unearthing a version of history in which women’s involvement has been conducive to the use and expansion of civil resistance and nonviolent struggle. With women, until…
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August 1, 2017 0

The United States: Reconsidering the Struggle for Independence, 1765–1775

  By:  Walter H. Conser Jr Stories of national origin provide conceptions of national identity for the people who share them. They celebrate the charter events of a people, enshrine particular historical episodes, and privilege specific historical interpretations. People in the United States, by eulogizing stories of violence in their national origin, have effaced or…
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July 30, 2017 0

Oakland: The Rev. James Lawson, a longtime nonviolent activist, practices what he preaches

The Rev. James Lawson addresses the audience at the Allen Temple Baptist Church at a commemorative service for Martin Luther King Jr. By: LOU FANCHER OAKLAND — The use of violence as a means to gain freedom or to protect a citizenship never fulfills its promises to humanity, the Rev. James Lawson said. “World War I…
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July 18, 2017 0

“A Totally Moral Man”: The Life of Nonviolent Organizer Rev. James Lawson

By: Peter Dreier Reprinted with permission from the author and Truthout. Peter Dreier offers an inspiring book for progressives describing  how 100 people in the 20th century brought positive change to the United States. Dreier describes his book as a “Social Justice Hall of Fame.”  You can obtain it with a minimum contribution to Truthout…
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June 26, 2017 0

Civil Rights Movement: Methods of Nonviolent Action

By: Mary Elizabeth King The U.S. civil rights movement (1955–1965) of the mid-twentieth century owes its success in part to its implementation of the technique of nonviolent struggle, using scores of nonviolent methods, or action steps. The hundreds of documented nonviolent sanctions, or methods, fall generally into one of three fundamental categories, identified by the…
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June 12, 2017 0

The Hidden History of the SNCC Research Department

Derek Seidman, “The Hidden History of the SNCC Research Department” May 2, 2017 “AT LAST!! THE PAPER YOU HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!! WHAT IS THE SNCC RESEARCH DEPARTMENT……” This was the headline of a February 1965 circular, typed and mimeographed, that went around to chapters of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee — or SNCC,…
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June 7, 2017 0