Home / General / James Lawson, RIP

James Lawson, RIP

/
/
/
816 Views

As I say frequently, it is extremely unfortunate that our vision of the civil rights movement has been reduced to just a few people in public memory. This doesn’t surprise me of course, but still, we really miss the complexities and flavors this way. One of the forgotten true legends was James Lawson, who has died at 95. Among other things, Lawson was the real architect of nonviolence protest in the movement, as King himself would say. He trained the early SNCC activists in nonviolence and not in the kind of soft way that this gets taught today. No, he said they would probably be beaten to the point of broken bones, brain damage, and death. But that the only way forward was nonviolence anyway, not because it was passive, but because it was the ultimate form of resistance. Many disagreed with him and I am not sure that I agree with him either, but no one put more on the line to promote their idea of social change, including the sit-in campaigns and the Freedom Rides, when his influence was at its zenith. Later, Lawson worked with the sanitation workers in Memphis and it was he who convinced a reluctant King to return to Memphis in April 1968, where MLK would die. Lawson very much knew the risks and so did King and their bravery and commitment cannot be overstated. They deserve equal parts of our historical memory.

RIP.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar
Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views :