Tag Archives: Mississippi

Lawrence Guyot : a Civil Rights Leader, in memory of

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON November 25, 2012 (AP)

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.

Lawrence Guyot.JPEG
FILE – Lawrence Guyot, a Student Nonviolent… View Full Caption
FILE – Lawrence Guyot, a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee member in Mississippi during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s recalls his work in Hattiesburg and the women who assisted in the struggles, in this Oct. 22, 2010 file photo taken in Hattiesburg, Miss.His daughter Julie Guyot-Diangone said late Saturday Nov. 24, 2012 he died late Thursday or early Friday outside Washington, D.C. at the age of 73. 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 in various causes, had a history of heart problems and suffered from diabetes. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) Close

“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

WASHINGTON November 25, 2012 (AP)

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.”

Lawrence Guyot.JPEG
FILE – Lawrence Guyot, 23, of Greenwood,… View Full Caption
FILE – Lawrence Guyot, 23, of Greenwood, Miss., removed his shirt in Jackson, Miss., to show newsmen where he says Greenwood and Winona police beat him with leather slapsticks, in this June 14, 1963 file photo. His daughter Julie Guyot-Diangone said late Saturday Nov. 24, 2012 he died late Thursday or early Friday outside Washington, D.C. at the age of 73. 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 in various causes, had a history of heart problems and suffered from diabetes. (AP Photo/Jim Bourdier, File) Close

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.

They called me f**got

I’m an openly gay student at Ole Miss who was threatened with anti-gay slurs. Join me in calling on Ole Miss to update its policies to protect LGBT students, faculty and staff.

I’m an openly gay student at the University of Mississippi, known as “Ole Miss.” Last week, while I was performing in The Laramie Project — a play about the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, who was killed for being gay — I was booed and heckled by the audience. They laughed at me. They called me f**got.

During the performance, I felt so much judgment. And worse than that, I felt afraid. Not just afraid of what these people might do to me, but afraid that my school wouldn’t back me up — because many of Ole Miss’s policies do not include protections for gay students like me.

The Ole Miss administration has said it will “investigate” what happened during that performance, but I want more than apologies and empty promises. I want real protection.

I worked with GetEQUAL to start a petition calling on Ole Miss to update all its policies for students, faculty and staff to include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Will you click here to sign?

What happened during that performance was especially upsetting to me because The Laramie Project is supposed to be a show about learning from what happened to Matthew Shepard. It’s about coming together and treating all people equally.

I hope one day to be able to be my authentic self, open, and without fear of judgment. But the message I got on stage that night was very clear: being gay means being in danger.

This Saturday is the fifteenth anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death, and on that day, I am going to present my petition to the Ole Miss administration. I know that if thousands of people sign, they will see how important it is that they take action to protect LGBT people on campus.

Click here to call on Ole Miss’s administration to update all of its policies to extend protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity to all students, faculty and staff.

Thank you,

Garrison Gibbons
Oxford, Mississippi



Eight Outrageous Stories

Here’s a few stories from today that will probably leave you shaking your head.


Major New Study On Obamacare Premiums Should End The ‘Rate Shock’ Hysteria Once And For All: The most comprehensive study on Obamacare to date finds that Americans’ insurance premiums under the health law will be “lower than expected.” Many Americans will pay even less than the top-line rates after factoring in government subsidies for their health coverage, with some paying nothing at all for crucial medical coverage

Affordable Safe and Accessible Health care

I hope you saw this important message. Join me and stand with the women of Mississippi to keep the last abortion provider open in the state. We can’t let back-door bans take away women’s rights.




Anti-choice politicians in Mississippi are trying to close the state’s last remaining abortion provider.

If we don’t stop them, the last clinic in that state could shut its doors for good.

Stop the bans big

Contact the state health officer to say that Mississippi women and families deserve access to abortion care.

Your help is needed to take a stand for choice right now. As states like North Dakota and Kansas pass unconstitutional bills directly aimed at banning abortion, others are using a sneakier approach. We call them “back-door bans” and they use regulations clearly designed to block women’s access to abortion in their states.

Next week is the culmination of a relentless campaign by lawmakers in Mississippi to put the Jackson Women’s Health Organization out of business. It’s the one remaining abortion provider in that state. Send a message that you won’t stand for these back-door abortion bans.

We call these back-door bans TRAP laws, short for “Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers.” Like all medical professionals, abortion providers already comply with important health and safety regulations. But TRAP laws are something different: they create a costly and confusing mine-field of additional requirements and regulations not imposed on other medical providers. Anti-choice politicians pretend that TRAP laws are about protecting women’s health, but their real goal is to close down clinics.

And that’s just what’s happening next week in Mississippi. For more than a year, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization has fought for survival in the face of 35 pages of new requirements designed to shut it down. On April 18, the state health department will hold what may be the final hearing on the future of the clinic. Send a message now that Mississippi women and families should be able to make their own reproductive choices without the interference of these burdensome and unnecessary regulations.

In many cases, providers targeted by back-door abortion bans are the sole resource for women in their communities or even their entire state. And yet, they come under extraordinary scrutiny from politicians whose only goal is to deny services to women.

Help us fight for this clinic and the women in Mississippi who depend on its services. Send a message now that these back-door bans are wrong. Tell leaders in Mississippi that the women of their state must have the right to control their futures. For the sake of women’s health and women’s rights – let’s keep the Jackson Women’s Health Organization open for business.

Thank you for helping make choice real for all women.

Ilyse Hogue Ilyse G. Hogue President, NARAL Pro-Choice America

Not on my campus

                          A horribly abusive private prison company wants to put its name on a stadium on my college campusFlorida Atlantic University. I don’t think my school should help a notorious company whitewash its name.                       
      Sign Gonzalo’s Petition

Gonzalo Vizcardo via Change.org

The private prison company the GEO Group has been found to run some of the most disgusting prisons in America. One judge called a GEO prison a “cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts and conditions” — places where children were placed in solitary confinement, guards sexually assaulted inmates, and prisoners regularly attempted suicide.

The GEO Group makes $1 billion a year running private prisons like these — and now they want to spend some of that money to put their name on a stadium on my college campus, Florida Atlantic University.

This is not okay with me. I’m a student at FAU, and I will not see my university help a notorious prison corporation whitewash its name on the side of the tallest and most prominent building on my campus, which can be seen from the highly-trafficked I-95 highway and from the many office buildings and residential neighborhoods near my university.

I started a petition on Change.org calling on FAU’s President and Board of Trustees to reverse their deal with the GEO Group to license naming rights for a stadium on campus — will you click here to sign?

Private prisons are hugely problematic, because they run prisons based on profits, not what’s best for prisoners or for society. For example, an NPR investigation in 2011 found that GEO Group prisons have far fewer guards than government-run prisons. Prisoners have even died waiting for medical attention.

In fact, the GEO Group’s prisons are so bad that the state of Mississippi kicked them out of the state entirely, as did Australia in 2003. I don’t want their name on my university’s stadium if an entire state and country kicked them out.

Students and professors on campus are angry — we’ve staged protests at the university president’s office, and she’s even agreed to meet with us this Friday. I know that if enough people sign my petition, she and the Board of Trustees will see that giving the GEO Group good PR isn’t worth all the bad PR they’ll get for making this deal.

Click here to sign my petition calling on FAU’s President and Board of Trustees to reverse their deal with the GEO Group to put their name on the side of a stadium on campus.

Thank you,

Gonzalo Vizcardo Lake Worth, Florida