Journal of African American History
In the spring of 1963, Holmes County, Mississippi voting rights activist Hartman Turnbow fought off a terrorist attack on his home with his sixteen-shot semiautomatic rifle. Later, Turnbow explained that his gunfire was perfectly consistent with the nonviolent philosophy of the freedom movement, declaring, “I wasn’t being non-nonviolent, I was protecting my family.” Turnbow embraced armed self-defense and political nonviolence without any sense of contradiction. In this, he channeled a generations-old practice and philosophy of arms that was an integral part of Black response to racist terrorism, mobbing, state failure, and majoritarian tyranny.
Nicholas J. Johnson,
A Considered African American Philosophy and Practice of Arms, 107 J. Afr. Am. Hist. 156
Available at: https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/faculty_scholarship/1263
The University of Chicago Press.