Nonviolent Activism: Background information when reading Watch Us Rise

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Watch Us Rise

by Renee Watson, Ellen Hagen

Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson, Ellen Hagen X
Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson, Ellen Hagen
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  • Published:
    Feb 2019, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jamie Chornoby
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Nonviolent Activism

This article relates to Watch Us Rise

Martin Luther King Jr. giving the I Have a Dream speech at the 1963 March on WashingtonIn Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan, high school juniors Chelsea and Jasmine learn that "art is never just art," so they decide to "use art to make a statement, to create change." The girls experiment with multiple forms of activism, sometimes with guidance, and even misguidance, from teachers, mentors, community leaders, family and friends. When they connect with Leidy—a guardian of the anarchist, volunteer-run book store Word Up—they engage more deeply with nonviolent activism to enact thoughtful, targeted progress.

Nonviolent activism, also known as nonviolent resistance and nonviolent action, has many definitions and interpretations. Broadly, it is a commitment to using nonviolent and inventive means to resist oppression and bring about social change. In Martin Luther King Jr.'s book Stride Toward Freedom, he defines it in abstract moral terms: "a courageous confrontation of evil by the power of love."

So, what does nonviolent activism look like? ...

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