Negro's Defense Against Acts of Violence


Dr. King describes nonviolent direct action and its effects against oppressors of the movement. He speaks about the undaunted fight and relentlessness even in the face of brutality.

Digital Archive brought to you
by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Negro's Defense Against Acts of Violence
Transcripts & Translations


The nonviolent resisters can summarize this message in the following simple terms: We will take direct action against injustice without waiting for other agencies to act. We will not obey unjust laws or submit to unjust practices. We will do this peacefully, openly, cheerfully because our aim is to persuade. We adopt the means of nonviolence because our [Crossed Out: aim] end is a community at peace with itself. We will try to persuade with our words, but if our words fail, we will try to persuade with our acts. We will always be willing to talk and seek fair compromise, but we are ready to suffer when necessary and even risk our lives to become witnesses to the truth as we see it. What is the Negro's best defense against acts of violence inflected upon him? As Dr. Kenneth Clark has said so eloquently, "His only defense is to meet every act of barbarity, illegality, cruelty and injustice toward an individual Negro with the fact that 100 more Negroes will present themselves in his place as potential victims." Every time a Negro school teacher is fired for believing in integration, a thousand others should be ready to take the same stand. If the oppressors bomb the home of one Negro for his protest, they must be made to realize that to press back the rising tide of the Negro's courage they will have to bomb hundreds more, and even then they will fail.
View Tags