Listen to ‘The Thread’: Two Centuries of Protest - OZY | A Modern Media Company

Listen to ‘The Thread’: Two Centuries of Protest

Listen to ‘The Thread’: Two Centuries of Protest

By Sean Braswell



Because this moment requires context.

By Sean Braswell

In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, America is engulfed in a popular uprising like few in its history. In light of the unfolding situation and unrest across the country — and the debate about the use and effectiveness of nonviolent and violent means of protest — we thought it a good time to rerun a prior season of The Thread podcast that touched on this very issue and how it has played out in history.  

In season three of The Thread, we traced the origins of a revolutionary — and even dangerous — idea: nonviolent resistance. We witnessed how the idea journeyed through the minds of some remarkable individuals and across the globe for nearly two centuries, to become a powerful agent for social change.

In episode one, which we are republishing this week, we began that story in Birmingham, Alabama, with the unexpected success of the United States’ most famous proponent of nonviolent protest: Martin Luther King Jr. King and his fellow civil rights activists faced many of the same issues and dilemmas playing out in the streets of America today. The fight to reform unjust laws and conduct is never easy or simple, but it can lead to momentous change. King compared the civil disobedience he was orchestrating and advocating for to the Boston Tea Party: “We are in good company when we break unjust laws, and I think those who are willing to do it and accept the penalty are those who are part of the saving of the nation.”

Listen to The Thread here and subscribe on your favorite podcast channel.

Sign up for the weekly newsletter!

Related Stories