Passive Resistance Training, SNCC, Atlanta, GA, 1960, by James Karales, courtesy Duke University Library
people had to be trained to deal wit the evil of white peopleLet this sink in ppl. We don’t dislike y’all for no reason. This wasn’t 500 years ago. This happened in my grandmothers AND mothers lifetime.
I hope this makes it clear to folks that non-violence as expressed during the Civil Rights Movement was not simply a moral or political choice. It was a tactical application as well.
Do y’all think SNCC, SCLC, CORE, MLK, Jr. or anyone else wanted to witness their people being beaten, that they wanted to stay their fists and guns when their CHILDREN were being murdered? If you do, I suggest you go back to history class, because MLK, Medgar Evers, Bayard Rustin, almost any person you can think of who advocated non-violence had armed guards and personnel in place for their and their people’s safety.
Non-violence as a resistance strategy was an attempt at provocation. Recognize that. Recognize that’s why these folks are training. Because they’re performing provocation through passive resistance. By not striking back they were illustrating the madness and vitriol of white supremacy. They were exposing in the most dramatic manner possible the denial of their humanity.
Understand: This was not turn the other cheek, this was looking into the eyes of the Devil and not backing down.
beauty in jade
beauty in moments
in simple silent intervals of time and space
I’d spend it all
live with you in a million ways
harboring a thousand thoughts
and all the hundreds I don’t say
for future’s sake
file it away.
I’m waiting to burst,
waiting to say
waiting to tell you,
I missed you today
I’ve missed you forever
I’ve missed you always.
She said curled against me,
Her voice tip-toeing the edge of a cliff,
“I feel so small.”
But you are not small,
You are the entire universe.
Your body is the new bloom wrung from
The soil that was lain from the ashes of bursting stars,
You are not small,
Even if you think you are.
Sometimes I wish you were small,
So that it would be easier for my hands,
To scour over every inch of you
But I don’t mind if my body goes limp
I will never get tired of touching you.
I know your head is floating off your shoulders and that
Your heart is so heavy that you are sinking beneath the floorboards.
It is okay to feel blank,
It is okay to feel anything you need to feel,
And even though I am a poet, not a painter,
I will try so hard to turn
A blank you into something beautiful
(Just in case you didn’t know,
You are already something so beautiful.)
We didn’t get to choose who,
But you know what?
I don’t care about the technicals,
About the conventional,
And I know you don’t either.
I’m here for the sunshine, love
And oh god do you shine so bright.
But I am also here for the storms,
For the rain,
For every tear drop that streaks your cheek’s windowpane.
No matter how much
It hurts me to see you hurt,
I will take my hands,
My shaking hands,
Wipe every single one of them away.
"My heart’s not the strongest,
But it is all yours”
She says into the empty space of her room.
I want to make my way inside your chest,
Let your heart rest I will pump all your blood for you,
I will prop you up on my shoulders
I will be your human crutch,
I will walk you across the Atlantic until the saltwater fills my lungs
Or my own two legs give up
Loving you is not a matter of wading in the shallow end,
Headfirst I will dive right in.
This is not a question of how long I can float,
This is sink or swim.