Resources

Letter from Birmingham Jail

By Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 16 April 1963 My Dear Fellow Clergymen: While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely.” Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms…
Read more


August 30, 2017 0

Anticipating Fear

By Mary Elizabeth King Ku Klux Klan rally on the Louisiana State Capitol steps in Baton Rouge in the 1960s. State Library of Louisiana Historic Photograph Collection. Black History Month has many meanings. For me, it is a time to remember the tremendous contribution African Americans have made to the building of the United States—as…
Read more


August 30, 2017 0

A Manual For A New Era of Direct Action

By George Lakey. Originally published on Waging Nonviolence. Movement manuals can be useful. Marty Oppenheimer and I found that out in 1964 when civil rights leaders were too busy to write a manual but wanted one. We wrote “A Manual for Direct Action” just in time for Mississippi Freedom Summer. Bayard Rustin wrote the forward. Some…
Read more


August 15, 2017 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…
Read more


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…
Read more


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…
Read more


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…
Read more


August 1, 2017 0

Weapons of Mass Democracy

By Stephen Zunes. Aminatou Haidar, center, is a Sahrawi human-rights defender, activist, and former political prisoner (1978-91). This photo was taken in 2006, when Haidar and other political prisoners were released by Moroccan authorities after pressure by human rights organizations. Sahrawi is a term for a group of Hassaniya speaking Arab-Berber Bedouin tribes traditionally located…
Read more


July 31, 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…
Read more


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…
Read more


July 18, 2017 0