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Nonviolence Now!

Living the 1963 Birmingham Campaign's Promise of Peace

Alycee J. Lane

During the 1963 Birmingham Campaign—led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights—volunteers were asked to sign a pledge to be nonviolent, no matter the provocation or from whom it came. Using the campaign's "commitment card," Alycee Lane explores the profound implications of the card's commandments and shows how they point to an even richer and more encompassing dedication to nonviolence against self, others, and the planet as a whole. In arguing that nonviolence also entails mindfulness, lovingkindness, and generosity, Nonviolence Now! offers us a new pledge, one that includes the continuing struggle to realize justice and the vision of King's Beloved Community but extends to the varied but no less critical challenges that present themselves to us today.

The Birmingham Campaign Commitment Card
I hereby pledge myself—my person and body—to the nonviolent movement. Therefore I will keep the following ten commandments:
1. Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.
2. Remember always that the non—violent movement seeks justice and reconciliation — not victory.
3. Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.
4. Pray daily to be used by God in order that all men might be free.
5. Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all men might be free.
6. Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.
7. Seek to perform regular service for others and for the world.
8. Refrain from the violence of fist, tongue, or heart.
9. Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.
10.Follow the directions of the movement and of the captain on a demonstration.

200 pp.  
5" x 8"

Lantern Books


Published:  July 2015


Alycee J. Lane is a former professor who taught African American literature and culture at UC Santa Barbara. She is author of Coming in from the Cold, a blog in which she analyzes political and social issues through the prism of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophy of nonviolence. A student of Engaged Buddhism, Alycee in 2012 participated in the year-long Commit to Dharma course offered by the East Bay Meditation Center under the tutelage of Larry Yang. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Howard University, Doctorate of Philosophy from UCLA, and Juris Doctor from UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall). Alycee currently lives in Oakland, California.
Photo by Amy Perl.
See all books by Alycee J. Lane

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