Telling the story of how this powerful political philosophy came to occupy a central place in the Black freedom movement by 1960, Siracusa challenges the idea that nonviolent freedom practices faded with the rise of the Black Power movement. He asserts nonviolence's staying power, insisting that the indwelling commitment to struggle for freedom collectively in a spirit of nonviolence became, for many, a lifelong commitment. In the end, what was revolutionary about the nonviolent method was its ability to assert the basic humanity of Black Americans, to undermine racism's dehumanization, and to insist on the right to be.
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Siracusa has undertaken a remarkably rich excavation of the evolution of nonviolent thought in the decades leading up to the modern civil rights movement and Dr. Martin L. King Jr. As deftly demonstrated here, the genealogy of nonviolent thought in the context of black freedom movements has deep roots…. Through thoughtful, sharp analysis and archival work, this history provides an important complement to the expansive corpus of scholarship on civil rights and nonviolence."—Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar, professor of history at the University of Connecticut and author of Hip-Hop Revolution: The Culture and Politics of Rap
This book is sorely needed to understand the centrality of nonviolence in the Black freedom struggle and as a corrective to the current state of civil rights historiography.Clarence Taylor, author of Black Religious Intellectuals: The Fight for Equality from Jim Crow to the 21st Century
There are other books and articles that cover particular parts of the story of nonviolence but none pieces together the whole story in the way done here.Paul Harvey, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs