Thursday, February 13, 2014
This Is What Real Anti-discrimination Work Looks Like
The genius and fearlessness of Rev. James Lawson and the young men and women who followed him are the touchstones of this pivotal chapter of the American civil rights struggle. Inspired by his studies in India of Gandhi's work, as well as the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Lawson begins in 1960 to train black and white college students in nonviolent methods to desegregate downtown Nashville, Tennessee. The students stage a sit-in at segregated city lunch counters in February 1960.
First they are ignored, but when they return again and again, they are beaten and jailed. The resulting outrage in the African American community leads to a boycott of downtown stores; many whites stay away as well, disturbed by the brutality and disruption. Business leaders apply pressure for a political solution, and bombing of a prominent black lawyer's house prompts the students to march on city hall and confront the mayor. After he is forced to admit that segregation is wrong, Nashville begins to desegregate.
Following on the heels of Greensboro, this series of actions provides yet another example of how people can collectively resist evil. We might consider trying that again sometime.
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Just think if they'd had the advantages of modern technology, they could have just tweeted their protests!
Or refused to "like" the drug stores on Facebook!
Yeah, that'd be awesome!
Posted by: Rmj | Feb 13, 2014 7:26:58 PM
Posted by: NTodd | Feb 13, 2014 7:33:51 PM