Martin Luther King on Nonviolent Change

For this day, I wanted to see if I could find something that explained something that happened years ago that I had missed.

I am engaging in a little historical fact checking in my own head, a little self-reeducation of things that I had forgotten.

I had heard that Dr. Martin Luther King had been a strong believer in the process of nonviolent change.  Through the dust and fog of the intervening years, and through the current disturbances through the world, it was a strong contrast to how things have happened in this century.

Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Stockholm, Sweden, December 11, 1964)

This is one of the videos that I have found that speaks to the subject.  It is Dr Martin Luther King being interviewed at some point in the 1950s after the desegregation of the Little Rock, Arkansas schools where he gives his own views on the subject as well as his own theories on how to effect change in society.

If you ignore the interviewer, who was not terribly effective, you hear MLK’s own words on this subject.

“Noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good”  MLK

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50 Years Since I Have A Dream

When I worked at the School District of Philadelphia, I would get the Martin Luther King holiday off of work.  I wasn’t the kind of person that would volunteer to build schools, I always had enough of my own projects to do.  What I would end up doing was to have the TV on and get caught up in my home.

One year I got the bright idea to leave the local PBS TV station on when they ran a day of programming about the Civil Rights Struggle.  I’m a documentary junkie so I got my fill that day.   They did run the I Have A Dream Speech as well as many others, and what I was left with was more than just a sense of history, but a deep sense of loss that this man, Dr. Martin Luther King didn’t have more years to share his vision.

The few speeches that did get recorded were always worth listening to, and always fascinating both in and out of context.

I managed to find a place to pull them down on MP3 and loaded them on my trusty player at one point.  Listening to them on the way to and from work on the train happened more than once, they did get into “rotation”.

No matter what your political bend, the time spent listening to this man is well worth it. 

Since the I Have A Dream speech is available readily online, you can find it here.

As for the other ones, I’d say happy listening.  Many of them are available in random places, and I did find a helpful web site at Stanford University with a list of some of them for your clicking pleasure.