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LAWRENCE GUYOT, ATTORNEY, CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST, HUSBAND & FATHER
On Friday Nov. 23, 2012, America-- the nation- lost a significant aspect of its conscience; African Americans-- the people-- lost one of their staunch advocates for civil rights, freedom and justice.
Lawrence Thomas Guyot, Jr. was born July 17, 1939, in Pass Christian, Miss. He graduated in 1963 from Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Miss., with a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry. He was in college when he began working for the civil rights cause; he was acutely aware of the injustices he faced as a young black man and he fought hard on behalf of others who were equally disenfranchised by color and circumstances. He endured brutal beatings at the hands of law enforcement officers in the South, but he never gave up fighting.
During the recent pre-election season, though ill, he was still encouraging people to register and vote; he was a tireless advocate for civic engagement. He knew first-hand that without active engagement disenfranchised peoples will remain oppressed. It is not surprising that he went into law; one can only assume that he needed to understand from the inside out how America’s legal system works. Studying the law helped him to understand the need for effective strategies.
He graduated from Rutgers University law school in New Jersey in 1971 and moved to Washington; there he worked as a legal counsel for various city agencies. He was married for 47 years to Monica Klein Guyot. He was the father of two children (Julie Guyot-Diangone of the District and Lawrence Guyot III of La Paz, Bolivia) and four grandchildren. As his health deteriorated over the past few months, attorney Guyot made sure he voted early so his voice would be heard. He lived passed Election Day and he knew that President Obama had been re-elected. Again, his voice was heard through his vote.
Lawrence Guyot was truly one of the unsung heroes of the civil rights movement; he never left the movement and he never felt that “we had overcome.” In fact, in an interview given to the Washington Post in 2005 he said: “It is still a struggle. Getting people organized to bring about political change is as necessary today as it was in 1955.” How true.
In 2012 we need to help our young people to become better informed about some of America’s ongoing racial underpinnings; we need them to understand the need to be effectively educated: to be forearmed. Education, determination, focused principles, a sense of purpose, and work-related skills are the armor of the future. These are the attributes we can instill in our children.
To learn more about this “warrior for freedom and justice,” this man who was a giant of the Civil Rights Struggle, please click the links below:
Detroit Free Press: http://www.freep.com/usatoday/article/1725265?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswel...