Nonviolence Now!: Living the 1963 Birmingham Campaign’s Promise of Peace

by 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.