What is "militant nonviolence" in the context of the Civil Rights Movement?Martin Luther King created the "Southern Christian Leadership Conference."  Its philosophy is "militant non vilolence."...

What is "militant nonviolence" in the context of the Civil Rights Movement?

Martin Luther King created the "Southern Christian Leadership Conference."  Its philosophy is "militant non vilolence."  What does that mean?

 

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are, of course, two parts to this philosophy.

The easier part to understand is "nonviolence."  This was King's philosophy of using only nonviolent means to resist what he saw as unjust laws.  King was determined that the members of the Civil Rights Movement should act more morally than those who opposed them.  He felt that the movement had to be nonviolent so that its members could clearly be the "good guys."

At the same time, however, the movement needed to be "militant."  This means that it would be aggressive and very active.  It would not simply be passive and let things happen.  Instead, it would aggressively go out and try to change the world.  

This philosophy, then, is one that is nonviolent but also very active and aggressive.  It seeks to go out and push for real change but to do so in a nonviolent way that is morally good.