He seemed to understand his audience and ‘tapped’ into the pent-up energy of the sisters. He emphasized the value of non-violence in his talks. Dr. Vivien repeated several times that nonviolence is the only honorable way of dealing with social change. His book, Black Power and the American Myth (1970), was an early assessment of the civil rights movement.
At the time of this first meeting, many of the Black sisters were itching to become more involved in civil rights activity. Some felt restrained or were hampered by their communities, especially those who were in white congregations, as were most of us. However, before the end of the week, a core group had emerged, and we had organized ourselves; thus began the National Black Sisters’ Conference.