Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr.
Presents “Nonviolence in a Time of Civil Unrest: Yesterday and Today”
An original Freedom Rider. This is the powerful harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever, seen through the eyes of a 20 year old college student, Bernard Lafayette. From May until November, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment – for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow Laws, the Freedom Riders met bitter racism and mob violence along the way, sorely testing their belief in nonviolent activism.
Dr, Lafayette, Jr. co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960 with his college roommate, Rep. John Lewis, and was a core leader of the civil rights movement in Nashville, TN, and in Selma, AL, in 1965. As part of the May 17th Nashville Student Movement Ride, Lafayette endured jail time in Birmingham, riots and fire bombings in Montgomery, AL, and arrest in Jackson, MS, and jail time at Parchman State Prison Farm during June 1961. He directed the Alabama Voter Registration Project in 1962. He was appointed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to be National Program Administrator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and National Coordinator of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign.
In 2016, Dr, Lafayette, Jr. was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace.
He is the author of, In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma.
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