Lawrence Guyot, a civil rights leader who survived jailhouse beatings in the Deep South in the 1960s and went on to encourage generations to get involved, has died. He was 73.
Guyot had a history of heart problems and suffered from diabetes, and died at home in Mount Rainier, Md., his daughter Julie Guyot-Diangone said late Saturday. She said he died sometime Thursday night; other media reported he passed away Friday.
A Mississippi native, Guyot (pronounced GHEE-ott) worked for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and served as director of the 1964 Freedom Summer Project, which brought thousands of young people to the state to register blacks to vote despite a history of violence and intimidation by authorities. He also chaired the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which sought to have blacks included among the state’s delegates to the 1964 Democratic National Convention. The bid was rejected, but another civil rights activist, Fannie Lou Hamer, addressed the convention during a nationally televised appearance.
Guyot was severely beaten several times, including at the notorious Mississippi State Penitentiary known as Parchman Farm. He continued to speak on voting rights until his death, including encouraging people to cast ballots for President Barack Obama.
“He was a civil rights field worker right up to the end,” Guyot-Diangone said.
Guyot participated in the 40th anniversary of the Freedom Summer Project to make sure a new generation could learn about the civil rights movement.
“There is nothing like having risked your life with people over something immensely important to you,” he told The Clarion-Ledger in 2004. “As Churchill said, there’s nothing more exhilarating than to have been shot at — and missed.”
His daughter said she recently saw him on a bus encouraging people to register to vote and asking about their political views. She said he was an early backer of gay marriage, noting that when he married a white woman, interracial marriage was illegal in some states. He met his wife Monica while they both worked for racial equality.
“He followed justice,” his daughter said. “He followed what was consistent with his values, not what was fashionable. He just pushed people along with him.”
Susan Glisson, executive director of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi, called Guyot “a towering figure, a real warrior for freedom and justice.”
“He loved to mentor young people. That’s how I met him,” she said.
When she attended Ole Miss, students reached out to civil rights activists and Guyot responded.
“He was very opinionated,” she said. “But always — he always backed up his opinions with detailed facts. He always pushed you to think more deeply and to be more strategic. It could be long days of debate about the way forward. But once the path was set, there was nobody more committed to the path.”
Glisson said Guyot’s efforts helped lay the groundwork for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
“Mississippi has more black elected officials than any other state in the country, and that’s a direct tribute to his work,” she said
Guyot was born in Pass Christian, Miss., on July 17, 1939. He became active in civil rights while attending Tougaloo College in Mississippi, and graduated in 1963. Guyot received a law degree in 1971 from Rutgers University, and then moved to Washington, where he worked to elect fellow Mississippian and civil rights activist Marion Barry as mayor in 1978.
“When he came to Washington, he continued his revolutionary zeal,” Barry told The Washington Post on Friday. “He was always busy working for the people.”
Guyot worked for the District of Columbia government in various capacities and as a neighborhood advisory commissioner.
D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton told The Post in 2007 that she first met Guyot within days of his beating at a jail in Winona, Miss. “Because of Larry Guyot, I understood what it meant to live with terror and to walk straight into it,” she told the newspaper. On Friday, she called Guyot “an unsung hero” of the civil rights movement.
“Very few Mississippians were willing to risk their lives at that time,” she said. “But Guyot did.”
In recent months, his daughter said he was concerned about what he said were Republican efforts to limit access to the polls. As his health was failing, he voted early because he wanted to make sure his vote was counted, he told the AFRO newspaper.
Published on May 11, 2014
marco rubio this week abc on climate change. “I don’t agree with the notion that some are putting out there — including scientists — that somehow, there are actions we can take today that would actually have an impact on what’s happening in our climate,” Rubio insisted. “Our climate is always changing. And what they have chosen to do is take a handful of decades of research, and say that this is now evidence of a longer-term trend that’s directly and almost solely attributable to manmade activity.”
“I don’t know of any era in world history where the climate has been stable,” he added. “Climate is always evolving. Natural disaster have always existed.”
“But let me get this straight,” Karl interrupted. “You do not believe human activity — C02 — has caused warming to our planet?”
“I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientist are portraying it,” Rubio said. “And I do not believe the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it. Except, it will destroy our economy.”
Watch the video below from ABC’s This Week, broadcast May 11, 2014.
description from rawstory
It’s been nearly a year and a half since the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary — and unfortunately, there has been nearly one school shooting per week since then.
Despite the enormity of that event and the daily incidents of gun violence, the politicians in Olympia and Washington, D.C. have failed to take real action to reduce gun violence. But we stepped up and this November, Washington voters will vote on a simple, commonsense reform that will make us all safer.
To defeat the gun lobby’s massive political money machine, we’re going to need to organize neighbor to neighbor, street by street, and workplace by workplace.
Now is the time to kick off our campaign to Vote Yes on 594 — won’t you join us on Monday, June 2nd?
We’re extremely honored that Carlee Soto, whose sister Victoria was killed protecting her students at Sandy Hook, has agreed to join us and help us begin this very important campaign, and share her inspiring story.
We can defeat the gun lobby.
We will make Washington safer for all our families.
I hope you can join us — here’s the info:
Monday, June 2nd at 12:00 p.m.
A donation will be requested during the program.
For more information or to RSVP, contact Tessa McClellan at 206.328.2969 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for everything so far — I look forward to working with you as we enter this new phase of the campaign.
Talk to you soon,