Juanita Nelson oral history

Juanita Nelson (1923-2015) was a war tax resister, a participant in the Civil Rights Struggle, and a back-to-the-lander. I just found a great oral history interview with her on the website for Massachusetts Department of Higher Education website.

One of the reasons I’m interested in Juanita Nelson is that she had no particular religious leanings one way or another; as she put it, she was not “religiously oriented.” And she was this way long before it was cool to be a None (i.e., to have no particular religious affiliation). Yet much of her life was spent seeking out and building intentional community, and spent in pursuing the highest moral and ethical values — and in that sense, she was what I’d call religious. She was also “religion-adjacent,” in part because she spent the last half of her life homesteading on land provided by a Quaker retreat center, and in part because so many war tax resisters are members of the historic peace churches.

Another reason I’m interested in her is that she’s a fascinating person in her own right. Someone should write a full-length biography of her — I’d buy it!