A message from Chris Densmore, Curator of the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College:
A few years ago, I was looking for documentation of Martin Luther King Jr. and the early days of the Civil Rights Movement in the records of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends. It seemed like something for the Race Relations Committee to handle, but there was nothing there. A little more digging located the records I was seeking in the Peace Committee and more specifically in a subcommittee on non-violence.
This week began with commemorations of Dr. King. On Saturday, there will be a Women’s March in Washington, DC, and Sister Marches worldwide. I was both pleased and a bit surprised to read their statement of “Guiding Principles” on their website which was explicitly based on Martin Luther King Jr., and the principles of non-violence. It also strikes me that these principles and this approach to conflict comes close to how some people understand Swarthmore College’s heritage of Quaker values. It is not just a strategy for confronting the evils of the day, but a strategy for daily living. It is what King and others referred to as the Beloved Community. \
— Christopher Densmore, Curator, Friends Historical Library.