“Nonviolence not only requires, but actually compels us to act, to confront violence and injustice wherever they manifest, because it is ultimately a way of life that constitutes ‘eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism’ — to all systems of subordination and the myriad forms of violence with which these systems are maintained.”
In Nonviolence Now! I examine the 1963 Birmingham campaign commitment card, a pledge form that challenged the campaign’s “nonviolent army” of volunteers to embrace nonviolence as a way of life — to dedicate themselves to spiritual contemplation, mindfulness, lovingkindness, and generosity — as they also put their lives on the line to dismantle Jim Crow in Bull Connor’s Birmingham. From my exploration of these important commitments, I offer a new pledge, one that includes the ten original Birmingham commitments but goes beyond them to help us all meet the different but no less critical challenges that the Obama-era presents.
*Nonviolence Now! is also a Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist for Current Events/Social Change (2017).