Thursday, April 03, 2008

Dr. King's Legacy of Non-Violence Kept Alive

As we approach one of the saddest and most tragic anniversaries of our time, the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. forty years ago this week, we are honored to play a small part in preserving his great legacy in Dare Not Walk Alone, one of the few films we know of that documents in detail the practical genius of Dr. King's non-violence principles..

In the film we see exactly how Dr. King focused world attention on the injustices of the Jim Crow laws of the segregated South. Because he persuaded supporters to remain peaceful on marches, sit-ins, beach bus-ins, and boycotts, despite increasingly hysterical violence and provocation from those who opposed desegregation, the world was treated to image after image of white Americans, police with dogs, youths with clubs and chains, assaulting innocent black people.

The contrast proved too much for Washington politicians in the summer of 1964. The motel owner, James Brock (shown speaking with Dr. King in this rarely seen archive footage from the film) whose segregated establishment had been picketed for many months, finally snapped and used acid to get black and white bathers out of his "Whites Only" swimming pool.

Within days of that incident the first civil rights act was passed. For it showed the world how futile segregation was when some black and white Americans were prepared to link arms and stand united to put their lives on the line for freedom and justice for all. May we strive to honor Dr. King's legacy by continuing to stand together to achieve that goal.

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