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*Martin Luther King and the Commitment to Nonviolence


Lal Salaam: A Blog by Vinay Lal

As the United States observes a holiday in memory of Martin Luther King, it is well to reflect on the possibilities of nonviolence today.   Whatever the difficulties that King encountered in his relentless struggle to secure equality and justice for black people, and whatever the temptations that were thrown in his way that might have led him to abandon the path that he had chosen to lead his people to the “promised land”, it is remarkable that King’s principled commitment to nonviolence never wavered through the long years of the struggle.  “From the very beginning”, he told an audience in 1957, “there was a philosophy undergirding the Montgomery boycott, the philosophy of nonviolent resistance.”  His own “pilgrimage to nonviolence” commenced, King wrote in Stride Toward Freedom (1958), with the realization that “the Christian doctrine of love operating through the Gandhian method of nonviolence was one of the most potent…

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