A Choice of Nonviolence

"Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a [hu]man, but you refuse to hate him [or her]." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Interracial alliance receives Michigan Humanities Council Grant

An interracial alliance of Cass County, Michigan residents, sponsored by the Minority Coalition, a 501 c-3 nonprofit based in Cassopolis, Michigan, has received a "Michigan People, Michigan Places" grant to install a planned mural in downtown Cassopolis depicting the famous Kentucky Raid of 1847. Already the subject of a Michigan Milestone marker in Cassopolis, the raid, represented through this visual medium, will be told more vibrantly. The group expects that this latest representation will properly place at the center of the onslaught both the African American fugitives themselves and local free blacks who (with local whites, most nobably Quakers) came to the aid of their brethren.

The mural, which has been under discussion for over a year, is to be completed during the summer of 2010, and the group hopes to involve community members in the processes of wall preparation and painting. This year, mural artist Ruth Andrews, with the assistance of local activist Ruth Crawley, began planning scenes for the mural, work that has included staging scenes using community members to play the parts of freedom-seeking African Americans.

Throughout the entire process of bringing the mural to fruition, the alliance expects to continue expanding the number of people touched by the important history which will be represented through this public art form, and, to that end, the group will offer in the coming year three community forums. The first is tentatively set for Black History Month (February). Upon completion of the mural, a pamphlet elaborating on the history of the raid will be made available at the project site.

Stay tuned for more information on this exciting project and future announcements concerning ways to get involved in this work.