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The Rev. James Lawson: Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter
The Rev. James Lawson: Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter
Published: 2016/08/09
Channel: United Methodist Videos
Interview Highlights: James Lawson, Pastor and Activist
Interview Highlights: James Lawson, Pastor and Activist
Published: 2013/05/27
Channel: Documentary Whitney Young Jr.
James Lawson: Reflections on Life, Nonviolence, Civil Rights, MLK
James Lawson: Reflections on Life, Nonviolence, Civil Rights, MLK
Published: 2017/01/12
Channel: United Methodist Videos
The Rev. James Lawson: Supporting families, Children’s Defense Fund
The Rev. James Lawson: Supporting families, Children’s Defense Fund
Published: 2016/08/09
Channel: United Methodist Videos
Art of Resistance - Angela Davis and Rev. James Lawson, pt.1
Art of Resistance - Angela Davis and Rev. James Lawson, pt.1
Published: 2011/12/21
Channel: Center for the Study of Political Graphics CSPG
Civil Rights Leader Rev. James Lawson at Moravian College
Civil Rights Leader Rev. James Lawson at Moravian College
Published: 2015/05/01
Channel: Moravian College
Honoring a Civil Rights Giant, Reverend James Lawson
Honoring a Civil Rights Giant, Reverend James Lawson
Published: 2013/10/30
Channel: Community Coalition
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Freedom Riders: The Student Leader
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Freedom Riders: The Student Leader
Published: 2011/03/01
Channel: AmericanExperiencePBS
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Freedom Riders: The Fresh Troops
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Freedom Riders: The Fresh Troops
Published: 2011/04/21
Channel: AmericanExperiencePBS
Art of Resistance - Angela Davis & Rev. James Lawson, pt.2
Art of Resistance - Angela Davis & Rev. James Lawson, pt.2
Published: 2011/12/22
Channel: Center for the Study of Political Graphics CSPG
Reverend James Lawson speaks at All School Chapel
Reverend James Lawson speaks at All School Chapel
Published: 2014/02/25
Channel: Pilgrim School
James Lawson - Training for Nonviolent Resistance
James Lawson - Training for Nonviolent Resistance
Published: 2010/10/01
Channel: NonviolentConflict
Civil Rights pioneer Rev. James Lawson returns to Vanderbilt
Civil Rights pioneer Rev. James Lawson returns to Vanderbilt
Published: 2007/12/19
Channel: Vanderbilt University
Oprah Winfrey’s Guest, Edward C. Lawson, Puts This Prejudice Caller in Her Place in Epic Fashion
Oprah Winfrey’s Guest, Edward C. Lawson, Puts This Prejudice Caller in Her Place in Epic Fashion
Published: 2015/09/21
Channel: NehemiYAH
Albert Gallatin Lecture with Reverend James M. Lawson Jr.
Albert Gallatin Lecture with Reverend James M. Lawson Jr.
Published: 2017/02/08
Channel: NYU Gallatin
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 17
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 17
Published: 2014/04/03
Channel: Crossroads Archive
Why Was the Civil Rights Movement So Important, Successful and Effective? (1998)
Why Was the Civil Rights Movement So Important, Successful and Effective? (1998)
Published: 2015/10/02
Channel: Way Back
Old Deerfield Productions
Old Deerfield Productions' Johnny Got His Gun in conversation, May 16, 2013
Published: 2013/06/02
Channel: Linda McInerney
James Lawson: Befriending James Earl Ray After MLK
James Lawson: Befriending James Earl Ray After MLK's Death
Published: 2017/01/12
Channel: United Methodist Videos
James Lawson Discusses Nonviolent Technique For LA
James Lawson Discusses Nonviolent Technique For LA
Published: 2011/11/21
Channel: seanglambert
The James Lawson Award 2015
The James Lawson Award 2015
Published: 2015/06/16
Channel: NonviolentConflict
James Lawson: We Have a Long Way to Go
James Lawson: We Have a Long Way to Go
Published: 2012/10/09
Channel: Children's Defense Fund
Rev. James Lawson
Rev. James Lawson
Published: 2011/04/13
Channel: LACountyFedOfLabor
Jesse Williams Speech - BET Awards 2016
Jesse Williams Speech - BET Awards 2016
Published: 2017/05/12
Channel: PBC Networkz
Human Rights and the Struggle for Justice
Human Rights and the Struggle for Justice
Published: 2014/06/09
Channel: Harvard Divinity School
Rev. James Lawson Nonviolence Lecture at JMU
Rev. James Lawson Nonviolence Lecture at JMU
Published: 2010/08/30
Channel: jamesmadisontv
Lagos@50: British colonial soldiers committed genocide in the Kingdom of Benin in 1897
Lagos@50: British colonial soldiers committed genocide in the Kingdom of Benin in 1897
Published: 2017/01/31
Channel: akumafiete
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 16
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 16
Published: 2014/04/03
Channel: Crossroads Archive
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 14
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 14
Published: 2014/04/03
Channel: Crossroads Archive
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 9
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 9
Published: 2014/04/03
Channel: Crossroads Archive
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 5
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 5
Published: 2014/04/03
Channel: Crossroads Archive
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 7
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 7
Published: 2014/04/03
Channel: Crossroads Archive
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 10
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 10
Published: 2014/04/03
Channel: Crossroads Archive
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 4
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 4
Published: 2014/04/03
Channel: Crossroads Archive
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 15
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 15
Published: 2014/04/03
Channel: Crossroads Archive
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 2
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 2
Published: 2014/04/03
Channel: Crossroads Archive
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 12
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 12
Published: 2014/04/03
Channel: Crossroads Archive
Amplifying the Progressive Voice in Media and the Arts
Amplifying the Progressive Voice in Media and the Arts
Published: 2014/05/25
Channel: PDAMERICA
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 11
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 11
Published: 2014/04/03
Channel: Crossroads Archive
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 6
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 6
Published: 2014/04/03
Channel: Crossroads Archive
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 8
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 8
Published: 2014/04/03
Channel: Crossroads Archive
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 13
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 13
Published: 2014/04/03
Channel: Crossroads Archive
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 3
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 10) 3
Published: 2014/04/03
Channel: Crossroads Archive
The Anti-Racism Experiment That Transformed an Oprah Show Audience | Where Are They Now | OWN
The Anti-Racism Experiment That Transformed an Oprah Show Audience | Where Are They Now | OWN
Published: 2015/01/02
Channel: OWN
Get the Facts! Barbara Boxer supports a woman
Get the Facts! Barbara Boxer supports a woman's right to choose.
Published: 2010/10/19
Channel: Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California
Rivera Sun on the Movement of Movements
Rivera Sun on the Movement of Movements
Published: 2015/07/26
Channel: Rivera Sun
Dr. Franklin McCain On A Sit In  Panel Discussion at A&T
Dr. Franklin McCain On A Sit In Panel Discussion at A&T
Published: 2014/01/10
Channel: SPOTTV
The Council of Elders stand in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street
The Council of Elders stand in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street
Published: 2011/11/17
Channel: Beloved Community Center
Lee Daniel
Lee Daniel's The Butler Movie Review
Published: 2013/08/20
Channel: D CHI
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 4) 11
Interview with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. (Part 4) 11
Published: 2014/04/03
Channel: Crossroads Archive
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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James Lawson
Jameslawson.jpg
James Lawson speaking at a community meeting in Nashville, Tennessee in 2005
Born James Morris Lawson, Jr.
(1928-09-22) September 22, 1928 (age 88)
Uniontown, Pennsylvania
Residence Nashville, Tennessee
Nationality American
Occupation Activist
Professor
Known for Mahatma Gandhi, Civil Rights leader, political and social activist

James Morris Lawson, Jr. (born September 22, 1928) is an American activist and university professor. He was a leading theoretician and tactician of nonviolence within the Civil Rights Movement.[1] During the 1960s, he served as a mentor to the Nashville Student Movement and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.[2][3] He continues to train activists in nonviolence.

Early life and education[edit]

Lawson was born to Philane May Cover and James Morris Lawson, Sr., on September 22, 1928 in Uniontown, Pennsylvania.[4] He grew up in Massillon, Ohio. Both Lawson's father and grandfather were Methodist minsters. Lawson received his ministry license in 1947 during his senior year of high school.[5]

While a freshman at Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, he joined the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), an organization led by A. J. Muste, and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), an organization affiliated with FOR. Both FOR and CORE advocated nonviolent resistance to racism; CORE conducted sit-ins in some northern cities in the late 1940s and embarked on a freedom ride more than a decade before the more famous ones of the early 1960s. Consistent with those principles of nonviolence, he declared himself a conscientious objector and refused to report for the draft in 1951. He served fourteen months in prison after refusing to take either a student or ministerial deferment.[6]

After his release from prison, he went as a Methodist missionary to Nagpur, India, where he studied satyagraha, the principles of nonviolence resistance that Mohandas Gandhi and his followers had developed.[6] He returned to the United States in 1955, entering the Graduate School of Theology at Oberlin College in Ohio. One of his Oberlin professors introduced him to Martin Luther King, Jr., who had led the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Montgomery, Alabama and had also embraced Gandhi's principles of nonviolent resistance. King urged Lawson to come South, telling him, "Come now. We don't have anyone like you down there."

Lawson studied at Oberlin College from 1956-1957 and attended Vanderbilt from 1958 to 1960. Lawson was expelled from Vanderbilt in March of 1960 and received his S.T.B from Boston University that same year. [7]

Leadership during the Civil Rights Movement[edit]

Lawson moved to Nashville, Tennessee and enrolled at the Divinity School of Vanderbilt University, where he served as the southern director for CORE and began conducting nonviolence training workshops for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. While in Nashville, he met and mentored a number of young students at Vanderbilt, Fisk University, and other area schools in the tactics of nonviolent direct action.[8] In Nashville, he trained many of the future leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, among them Diane Nash, James Bevel, Bernard Lafayette, Marion Barry, and John Lewis. In 1959 and 1960, they and other Lawson-trained activists launched the Nashville sit-ins to challenge segregation in downtown stores. Lawson was expelled from Vanderbilt, due to his participation in these activities, an event that would later become a source of deep embarrassment to the university.[9] During the 2006 graduation ceremony, Vanderbilt apologized for its treatment of Lawson; he is now a member of its faculty.[9]

Lawson's students played a leading role in the Open Theater Movement, the Freedom Rides, the 1963 March on Washington, Mississippi Freedom Summer, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, the 1963 Birmingham Children's Crusade, the 1965 Selma Voting Rights Movement, the 1966 Chicago Open Housing Movement, and the Anti-Vietnam War Movement over the next few years. In 1962, Lawson brought King and James Bevel together for a meeting which resulted in the two agreeing to work together as equals.[10] Bevel was then named SCLC's Director of Direct Action and Director of Nonviolent Education.

Lawson became pastor of Centenary Methodist Church in Memphis, Tennessee in 1962. In 1968, when black sanitation workers went on strike for higher wages and union recognition after two of their co-workers were accidentally crushed to death, Reverend Lawson served as chairman of their strike committee. (See Memphis Sanitation Strike) He invited King to Memphis in April 1968 to dramatize their struggle, which had adopted the slogan I am a Man. King delivered his famous "Mountaintop" speech in support of the strike in Memphis on April 3, 1968, the day before his assassination.

Later career[edit]

Lawson talking with an audience member following a panel discussion on the Nashville sit-ins

Lawson moved to Los Angeles in 1974 to lead Holman United Methodist Church[4] where he served for twenty-five years before retiring in 1999. During this time Lawson hosted "Lawson Live", a weekly call-in radio show, where Lawson discussed human and social rights issues. [11]He has continued to train activists in nonviolence and to work in support of a number of causes, including immigrants' rights in the United States and the rights of Palestinians, opposition to the war in Iraq, and workers' rights to a living wage. In 2004, he received the Community of Christ International Peace Award.

Lawson took part in a well-publicized three-day Freedom Ride commemorative program sponsored by Vanderbilt University's Office of Active Citizenship and Service in January 2007. The program included an educational bus tour to Montgomery and Birmingham, Alabama. Participants also included fellow Civil Rights activists Jim Zwerg, Diane Nash, Bernard Lafayette, C. T. Vivian as well as John Seigenthaler, journalists and approximately 180 students, faculty and administrators from Vanderbilt, Fisk, Tennessee State University and American Baptist College.

He spearheaded California State University Northridge's (CSUN) Civil Discourse and Social Change initiative as a Visiting Faculty for the academic year of 2010/11.[12] The initiative built on CSUN's history of activism and diversity, while focusing on the current budget and policy battles surrounding education. Lawson helped bring perspective, knowledge, and strategic thinking to the campus.

The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict held an eight-day program on civil resistance facilitated by Lawson in Nashville, in 2013 and 2014.[13]

A class taught by James Lawson, Kent Wong, Kelly Lytle Hernandez, and Ana Luz Gonzalez inspired UCLA students to publish "Nonviolence and Social Movements", a book that focuses on the principles of nonviolence and social change that Lawson teaches.

In media[edit]

Lawson was portrayed in the 2013 motion picture The Butler by actor Jesse Williams. The film chronicles Lawson's training sessions during the civil rights protests of the 1950s and 1960s.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Freedom Riders: James Lawson". PBS. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Hughes, Richard A. (2009). Pro-justice Ethics: From Lament to Nonviolence. New York: Peter Lang. p. 226. ISBN 143310525X. 
  3. ^ Catsam, Derek Charles (2009). Freedom's Main Line: The Journey of Reconciliation and the Freedom Rides. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0813125111. 
  4. ^ a b "James M. Larson, Jr." in Notable Black American Men Book II, Thomson Gale, Reproduced in Biography Resource Center (Fee). Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale. 2008 [2006]. K1622000673. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  5. ^ "This Far by Faith . James Lawson | PBS". www.pbs.org. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  6. ^ a b Houck, Davis W.; Dixon, David E. (2006). Rhetoric, religion and the civil rights movement, 1954-1965. Baylor University Press. pp. 356–363. 
  7. ^ "Lawson, James M. (1928- )". kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  8. ^ Mogul, Jonathan. Barbara de Boinville, ed. "A Force More Powerful (English study guide)" (PDF). pp. 4 et seq. Retrieved 2008-04-19. Inspired by a trip to India to study Gandhi and by the 1955 bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, led by Martin Luther King Jr, Lawson decides to try his own hand at nonviolent struggle against racial segregation. 
  9. ^ a b Theo Emery, Activist Ousted From Vanderbilt Is Back, as a Teacher, The New York Times, October 4, 2006
  10. ^ "Movement Revision Research Summary Regarding James Bevel" by Randy Kryn, October 2005, published by Middlebury College
  11. ^ "This Far by Faith . James Lawson | PBS". www.pbs.org. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  12. ^ "Civil Discourse and Social Change". csun.edu. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  13. ^ http://www.jameslawsoninstitute.org/
Books
Periodicals
  • "James Lawson Named 2005 Vanderbilt University Distinguished Alumnus." Tennessee Tribune, 22 December 2005.
  • Mielczarek, Natalia. "Vanderbilt Hires Ex-student It Expelled for Civil Rights Activism." Tennessean, 19 January 2006.
  • Summer, David E. "The Publisher and the Preacher: Racial Conflict at Vanderbilt University." Tennessee Historical Quarterly LVI (Spring 1997): 34–43.
  • Wynn, Linda T. "The Dawning of a New Day: The Nashville Sit-Ins, February 13, 1960 – May 10, 1960." Tennessee Historical Quarterly L (Spring 1991): 42–54.
Online

Further reading[edit]

  • Lefer, Diane (Mar–Apr 2013). "James Lawson". The Believer. 11 (3): 73–82. 

External links[edit]

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