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.
a repost from 12/2013
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid have lifted many Americans out of poverty and provided health and retirement security for millions of seniors and people with disabilities. When its health coverage takes effect next month, the Affordable Care Act is about to become the fourth pillar of American health and economic security.
For years, Republicans have been intent on trimming Social Security and Medicare benefits even as medical costs have skyrocketed and savings and pensions have been whittled away. In 25 states GOP leaders have attacked the Affordable Care Act’s critically important expansion of Medicaid, preventing millions from getting the health care they need. They make the ridiculous argument that we can’t afford health security. We are the richest nation on earth, and we can afford to make sure everyone has something as basic as health care.
Will you write to your representative in Congress to say we can boost benefits for seniors and ensure these life-saving programs last for generations to come? We can do this if Congress has millionaires pay their fair share into Social Security and if drug companies stop ripping off Americans.
Will O’Neill Health Care for America Now
Published on May 11, 2014
marco Rubio’s abc appearance said: 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
On the evening of April 4, 1968, King was fatally shot while standing on
the balcony of a motel in Memphis, where he had traveled to support a
sanitation workers’ strike. In the wake of his death, a wave of riots
swept major cities across the country, while President Johnson declared a
national day of mourning.
Just another rant …
As fights against discrimination in all its forms breaks out all over the U.S. one has to wonder if voters are drinking the Republican fear mongering kook aid instead of putting “We the People” ahead of Lobbying groups that arm their current or next elections with $$$. In a place that has always welcomed and or cared for the poor, single mom’s with kids, the constitution; specifically the 14th Amendment, immigration, women’s , senior citizens and worker rights when the need is clear with votes on the Floor of Congress in the House. Now, has a new look called the Republican Tea Party with even more ugly Colonial ways and ideologies on issues like – Race, Religion and the rights of its people. The GOP, say they speak for the people yet have decided to ignore the polls unless it’s against the Obama admin or democratic election races, they spent $24billion of the people’s money, called a shutdown when it was clearly a tantrum that can only hurt American in the long term. I used to think all we had to worry about was what side of the political aisle these righties stood on and how many actually needed to be voted out of Congress. Now, it is all about what State and social program will they cut, slash or burn while pitting the upper and middle class against the working class while eliminating those in need as well. The fact is 1 out 6 people live in poverty and 20% … let me say that again, 20% of our American children live in poverty and for an ultra-rich country that information should offend&outrage us all. If you listen to conservative media speak; because it is clear they control the airwaves … the lines of fair or balanced news and behavior becomes blurry leaving the voter confused or having taken the fear mongering to heart and vote against their own best interest. If the GOP gets their way, if
they complete their mission, the only ones standing will be those who claim to be a member of the Republican Tea Party.
Well, MidTerms turned out to be another 2010, and so goes that thing we say … Those that voted against their own best interest will get what they paid for and the rest of us will suffer … sigh
We the People cannot keep allowing this to happen ….
We all know that programs like Social Security, Medicaid as well as Medicare; considered Mandatory Spending accounting for almost 60% of federal expenditures and yes, they definitely are in need of reform but not elimination. The current crazy offensive fiscal attacks by Republicans do not seem to be because of the deficits we are facing but a brazen attempt to privatize these programs, get a copy of the Ryan Budget and be informed. Most people in the U.S. know the big three need updating but Republicans are not going to update or reform them of waste abuse and fraud or expand them either. The plan is to split them up into pieces where premiums and prices probably will have absolutely no regulation of or caps on how high or how often the costs could rise. I have to ask, didn’t Republicans learn a single thing from our near collapse and do these new tea party members of Congress just have a big itch to see what exactly happens when a government falls apart.
What we have here, what we have all been watching is the destruction of our government as we know it, seemingly trying to change it into a new Republican Tea Party based on a “family values platform” which includes and is not limited to banning Choice suppressing the Vote eliminating Social Services among many other things.
It is a disturbing and truly rude awakening watching and listening to how a generation of folks seem to want to turn back the clock to segregation jim crow and poll tax.
Be a Seed for Change