Tag: Lawrence Guyot

In Memoriam: Lawrence Guyot

Lawrence Guyot

By Alan Bean

I first learned about Lawrence Guyot from reading Taylor Branch’s celebrated Trilogy on the King Years.  His name came up again when I researched the background of the Curtis Flowers story.  Readers of this blog will know that Guyot, Fannie Lou Hamer and several other civil rights activists were beaten within an inch of their lives by men under the command of Sheriff Earl Wayne Patridge at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Winona, Mississippi in June of 1963.  Three decades later, Mr. Flowers was arrested on the basis of fabricated evidence for the 1996 slaying of four people at a Winona furniture store.

A little over a year ago, I had the chance to meet the man in the flesh when he spoke at an event in Cleveland, MS sponsored by the Samuel Procter Oral History Program at the University of Florida.  The civil rights icon seemed more interested in telling the students what they needed to do in the present moment than he was in sharing tidbits of civil rights nostalgia.  This September, my wife Nancy and I shared our story with the Florida students.

This New York Times story captures the essence of Guyot’s amazing saga.  There was nothing unusual about the man.  He was not particularly eloquent or brilliant; he just refused to back down in the face of injustice.  Without Lawrence Guyot’s brand of anonymous courage, the civil rights movement could not have succeeded. (more…)