“Atomic energy is not the only basic force in the universe. Behind the fuss and fanfare, the wars and rumors of wars, something incredibly real and active works silently, indefatigably. For those who have met its conditions, it is more than a belief; it is an experience. ..
It is my task, and the task of the pacifist, to demonstrate convincingly, in life and actions, that this power of the spirit is real, that it is an alternative to violence, and that it can work for the healing of nations.”
(Charles C. Walker, Captive of the Spirit, article in Motive magazine January, 1946) Also featured in A Quaker Behind the Dream, due out soon!
In a letter to my father, Charlie Walker, on July 10, 1956, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote:
We were very happy to have you visit Montgomery. I count it a real personal privilege of having the opportunity of meeting you. I hope that we will be able to renew this fellowship at some early date, and that I will see you again when I am not so busy with other things. Please give my best regards to all of my friends along the Philadelphia area.
M.L. King, Jr.,
Look for more in my upcoming book, A Quaker Behind the Dream, next month.
Photo of Charlie working for the Fellowship of Reconciliation in the 1940s
Step Five is Direct Action. Only as a last resort, should direct action be launched. Too often people charge ahead, without laying the groundwork, and act based on rumors. They fail to negotiate based on specifics learned from investigation. Charlie Walker stressed, “Direct action must be launched only when all attempts at persuasion have failed, repeated offers of negotiation are refused and no area of compromise can be found.” He wrote, “the effort is not to overcome or humiliate the opponents, but rather … to seek reconciliation, understanding and friendship.”
Dr. Martin Luther King at the 1963 March on Washington