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Nonviolence Playlets - compiled by Walter Wink - page 20 / 29





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Peasant:  “Aw, don’t be upset with him.  I just couldn’t resist telling

him about Jesus.   He’s a great guy.  You want to know more about him?”

Centurion:  “No, I don’t!”

Peasant:  “Well then, I gotta get back to the grapes.  You-all have a

nice day.”

(Exit Peasant.  Soldier and Centurion huddle together, in hushed but

audible tones):

Centurion:  “Now tell me exactly what he said.  I will have to report

this incident to the authorities.  As for you, keep your guard up.   You

never know when they will act friendly and drive a knife in your back.”

A note on sources:  where I have drawn on others, I have indicated so.

If there is no ascription, it is a story I have collected in workshops

in one place or another.  However, many of these have already entered

the oral tradition, and I for one am completely at a loss to trace their

lineage.  My apologies for any unconscious borrowing.

Additional Playlets:

James Lawson.  Setting:

Narrator:  It is the time of the lunch counter sit-ins in Nashville, TN,

1960.   A column of 124 black students marched downtown to occupy the

lunch counters of downtown restaurants.  Bernard Lafayette was four

people from the end.  Suddenly a group of white toughs charged the black

line and attacked one of his colleagues, knocking him down and kicking

him [whites attack].  Lafayette moved as quickly as he could to protect

his friend, throwing his body down on his buddy as they had all been

taught by James Lawson, their mentor.  His action merely made them

switch their attention to Lafayette.  Now they were beating and kicking

instead.  Just then Jim Lawson, who had been walking at the end of the

line, strolled over [strolls over].  He did not rush over as if to an

accident or as if to stop a beating.  Instead he walked over very

calmly, as if to a long-standing appointment.  It was as if he knew all

along that Lafayette’s friend was going to be knocked down and mauled

and that Lafayette was going to try and protect him.

 Lawson’s arrival shifted the attention of the whites from the fallen

Lafayette and his friend.  The leader of the whites was sporting what

was the prevailing uniform of the day for white toughs, black pants,

black leather motorcycle jacket, biker’s haircut.  When he saw Lawson he

was enraged at his coolness and he spat at him.  Lawson looked at him

and asked him for a handkerchief.  The man , stunned, reached in his

pocket and handed Lawson a handkerchief and Lawson wiped the spit off

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