Leaders of Non-violent Resistance


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Interview, 1965

Martin Luther King, Jr. is typically the face that people picture when asked about the leader of the Civil Rights Movement.  King adapted Ghandi's principles of non-violence for the Movement, and to him non-violence was not only a means to an end, it was a way of life.  In this interview, King talks of the power of non-violence and how one could be militantly non-violent.  To hear him speak of it really shows the depth of his convictions.

This interview published in 1965 was taken soon after the publishing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964.  In it King discusses the problems that he feels the Act has and government responsibility.  This way of thinking would guide his activism near the end of his life, which was discussed in his final essay "A Testament of Hope."


Jesse Jackson Interview by Arthur Kretchmer, 1969

Reverend Jesse Jackson was on the balcony with King when he was assasinated, and Jackson actually held the man in his arms as King died.  Jackson lived the non-violent philosophy of his mentor, and many believed that he was King's "heir" in the struggle for equality.  As is apparent just from looking a the photo that was used in the interview, however, Jesse Jackson has accepted at least some of the ideas in Black Power.  One of the main things that Black Power advocates supported was the "natural" look, especially where hair is concerned.  Jackson's afro hair style is the perfect reflection of this.  In his interview, Jackson also said that he could understand how some people could resort to violence, though he never would and did not support it.  Even his program to help African-American communities, Operation Breadbasket run out of Chicago, was about buying in African-American stores and getting white stores to give fair prices in their branches located in African-American neighborhoods.  This idea was an important part of Black Power.

Interviews with Leaders
Leaders of Non-violent Resistance