William Stuart Nelson, Mohandas K. Gandhi: The Nonviolent Answer

Article by African-American theologian William Stuart Nelson on Gandhiji in the Friends Journal: Quaker Thought and Life, October 1, 1969. Nelson was a satyagrahi who marched with Gandhi in Noakhali, Bengal in support of Hindu-Muslim Unity against Western imperialism. He was a very important mentor to Martin Luther King Jr. and played a decisive roleContinue reading “William Stuart Nelson, Mohandas K. Gandhi: The Nonviolent Answer”

The Heroism of Satyagraha

Our heroes must be spiritual. –Swami Vivekananda What does the method and philosophy of Satyagraha reveal? It exposes the heart of human nature, in all of its contradictions. The law of satyagraha compels us to act with soul force, which necessitates activation of our soul memory, our spirit consciousness. If it follows that we wereContinue reading “The Heroism of Satyagraha”

Muhammed Ali with Indira Gandhi

War is against the teachings of the Qur’an. I’m not trying to dodge the draft. We are not supposed to take part in no wars unless declared by Allah or The Messenger. We don’t take part in Christian wars or wars of any unbelievers. —Muhammed Ali

On the Philosophy and Methods of Non-Violence: Martin Luther King Jr. to William Nelson

NOTE In the following letter, Dr. King writes to Dr. William Nelson, dean of Howard University, a historically black university in Washington D.C., in order to ask whether he knew of any books or pamphlets on the caste system in India. Here, King comments upon the significance of his trip to India, which he deemsContinue reading “On the Philosophy and Methods of Non-Violence: Martin Luther King Jr. to William Nelson”

The Moral Government of the World: On Faith, Reason, and Truth

I. THE SOUL-FORCE IN HISTORY In his spiritual message to the world, notable because it is one of the rare extant speeches Mohandas K. Gandhi gave in English, the satygrahi remarked that There is an indefinable mysterious power that pervades everything, I feel it though I do not see it. It is this unseen powerContinue reading “The Moral Government of the World: On Faith, Reason, and Truth”

The Indian Press Defended Paul Robeson in 1947

As revolutionary India entered the world stage as a free nation in 1947, The Hindu, a widely read Indian newspaper, condemned the banning of Paul Robeson’s public performance in Peoria, Illinois as a consequence for his agitation for world peace and the freedom of oppressed peoples everywhere. “If Paul Robeson is un-American, so much theContinue reading “The Indian Press Defended Paul Robeson in 1947”

The Garland March: From Selma to Montgomery, 1965

The flash and flutter of a lens can capture a moment in eternity. In the photograph below, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., second from left, and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, second from right, wear garlands in the Hindu tradition. It is 1965 and they are marching from Selma to Montgomery. I am unsure which ofContinue reading “The Garland March: From Selma to Montgomery, 1965”

The Thurman Delegation in India, 1935-1936

Sue Bailey Thurman and Howard Thurman travelled to India, Burma and Ceylon, as part of the first African-American delegation to colonial India in 1935-1936, at the height of its anti-colonial struggle against the British Empire. Known as the Pilgrimage of Friendship to the East, the delegation was organized by the Student Christian Movement in theContinue reading “The Thurman Delegation in India, 1935-1936”