Dancing with History: A Life for Peace and Justice
A memoir of a Quaker activist and master storyteller on his involvement in struggles for peace, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, labor justice, and the environment, whose life will be the subject of a new documentary film coming in 2023.
From his first arrest in the Civil Rights era to his most recent during a climate justice march at the age of 83, George Lakey has committed his life to a mission of building a better world through movements for justice. Lakey draws readers into the center of history-making events, telling often serious stories with playfulness and intimacy. In this memoir, he describes the personal, political, and theoretical—coming out as bisexual to his Quaker community while known as a church leader and family man, protesting against the war in Vietnam by delivering medical supplies through the naval blockade in the South China Sea, and applying his academic study of nonviolent resistance to creative tactics in direct action campaigns.
From strategies he learned as a young man facing violence in the streets to risking his life as an unarmed bodyguard for Sri Lankan human rights lawyers, Lakey recounts his experience living out the tension between commitment to family and mission. Drawing strength from his community to fight cancer, survive painful parenting struggles, and create networks to help prevent activist burnout, this book shows readers how to find hope in even the darkest times through strategic, joyful activism.
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