Civil Rights History Project Interview with Lawrence Guyot
Fearless, courageous, brilliant, persistent, generous, visionary, and a civil rights warrior are just some of the accolades that have been used to describe Lawrence Guyot. While a student of Tougaloo College, he became active in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). As a field secretary and as director of the 1964 Freedom Summer Project, he mobilized voter education and registration programs for Blacks in Mississippi. He and Fannie Lou Hamer were founding members of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), which challenged the exclusionary nature of the traditional Democratic Party in Mississippi. The MFDP sent a delegation to the 1964 Democratic National Convention, which did not unseat the Democratic Party from Mississippi, but they were responsible for integrating (on the basis of race and gender) the Mississippi Democratic Party and they contributed substantially to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.