Civil rights pioneer dies - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Civil rights pioneer dies

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

One of the intellectual leaders of the American civil rights movement has died at the age of 73. Lawrence Guyot was originally from Pass Christian and was the founder of the Freedom Democratic Party.

Guyot was a 1963 graduate of Tougaloo College and went on to get his law degree from Rutgers University 1971.  

He was a former aid to fellow Mississippian, Washington DC Mayor Marion Barry.

Guyot was the brains behind the Freedom Democratic Party, which first got black Mississippians to be delegates to the Democratic National Convention.  

He was also one of the founders of the U. S. Democratic Party, as we know it today.

Guyot was jailed and beaten, in Winona, Mississippi when he was a civil rights worker in 1963.   He was also one of the intellectual forces of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC, in 1962.  

He was close friends with Fannie Lou Hamer, and helped her find a home after she was thrown off the plantation for registering to vote.  

His experiences in Mississippi helped form the voting rights act of 1965.

He had a heart ailment, according to his daughter.  

Memorial services for Guyot are being arranged in Washington DC,Pass Christian, and Jackson.

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