Lesson 4: Class of Nonviolence

“Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.”    Martin Luther King, Jr.


4.1 Martin Luther King, Jr. by Charles De Benedetti  4.2 Loving Your Enemies by Martin Luther King, Jr.  4.3 Declaration of Independence from the War in Vietnam by Martin Luther King, Jr.  4.4 Pilgrimage to Nonviolence by Martin Luther King, Jr.  4.5 King and Pacifism: The Other Dimension by Colman McCarthy
[download all of the Lesson Four readings as a PDF file]


  1. Why was “forgiveness” and “inclusive peacemaking” the crucial underpinning of Martin Luther King’s approach to confronting a racist society?
  2. Define and give an example of institutional racism. How might you be contributing to such an entity unknowingly?
  3. Do you believe affirmative action programs are justified? If so, why?
  4. Have you tried to become personally acquainted with and appreciative of people from ethnic and racial backgrounds different from your own? How did it change you?
  5. King assumed the basic oneness of humanity as a means of overcoming racism. How have you advanced this notion in your life?

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