This February, as we reflect upon Black History Month, we are reminded of the ability of a group to enact real change. Led by Martin Luther King Jr., African Americans joined together in nonviolent protest – and found civil rights victory. This example is extremely relevant today.
We propose looking at Black History as a blueprint for current and future movements. Many issues plague our modern-day communities. There’s school violence. Gun control (or lack of it). Opioid abuse. What has no place in your world? Answer the question and find like-minded Americans to take up the cause with you. Unity is a major impetus for change. We believe that those who agree may move mountains. Dr. King showed us that it’s possible.
There are many pros to nonviolent protest as a means to a peaceful end. These include (but are not limited to):
Sparking a national discourse – Humans seek a sense of community. It’s the primal reason we seek to establish families and to surround ourselves with others who believe as we do. When Dr. King became a leader in the Civil Rights movement, black Americans viewed him as someone who would speak for them. With Dr. King at the helm, they gained the confidence to follow him and peacefully picket, march and protest. America took notice. How could it not?
A reasonable way to join a movement – Violence should never be condoned. And nonviolent protest is arguably far more effective anyway. When thousands of people believe the same truth that you do, you are seen as more pervasive than, for example, an extremist whose views are voiced by few zealots. Having many people in agreement makes even those who may not have agreed with your views in the past stop and ask the obvious question: If so many people believe this, could it perhaps be true? This naturally leads to a re-examination of beliefs and values.
Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. Dr. King said that – and we can’t help but believe that it’s a lot easier to take that first step when there are others taking it with you. Seek out those who also strive for change but are not sure where to begin. Become a leader and offer a voice to the emotion, if you so choose. And remember the power that a person like Martin Luther King, Jr. can have to peacefully change the course of a nation.
Dr. King famously remarked that he chose love over hate. By focusing on the positive ramifications of protest and by doing so in a peaceful manner, his actions, and the action of those who followed him, serve as a model for future campaigns.
The Coleman Law Group is proud to have Constance Coleman at its helm. Constance is an African American lawyer who practices with compassion and focus. She believes in justice and the ability of groups of like-minded people to find it in a peaceful manner. Discover more about the Coleman Law Group at: www.thecolemanlawgroup.com