Lawrence Guyot
(1939 — 2012)

Resolution Honoring Lawrence Guyot, Mississippi Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement
In Loving Memory, Lawrence Guyot, Fannie Lou Hamer National Statue Committee

As Remembered by Teaching For Change: Lawrence Guyot, ¡Presente!

As remembered by Heather Tobis Booth
November 23, 2012

He is gone in his body, but his fighting spirit lives on.

He died peacefully in his sleep with Monica beside him.

Donations, in lieu of flowers, should be sent to the Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement.

He was a towering figure and a courageous voice for freedom, justice and democracy. We honor him by carrying on his work and commitment.



As remembered by Dave Dennis
November 23, 2012

We send our love to the family. We will never forget his greatness and commitment, therefore he will live forever.

Dave and Nancy


As remembered by Thomas Madison Armstrong
November 23, 2012

Lawrence Guyot was a fierce warrior in his battles for Truth and Justice. May the calmness of peace remain with his soul forever. I shall forever cherish our Tougaloo College and Movement memories.

Thomas Armstrong


As remembered by Leslie Burl McLemore
November 23, 2012

The work and good deeds of Lawrence T.Guyot will live forever through his family and many friends in the Movement. He was a man of courage, integrity, strong convictions and wisdom.

Leslie Burl McLemore


As remembered by Ed King
November 23, 2012

Larry Guyot, another veteran of the band of brothers and sisters, has died. We honor his work for freedom in SNCC and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, in Hattiesburg, the Delta, Washington, and the world. Monica and family, you have my admiration for what you have done for Larry, and my prayers and sympathy and love.

Ed King


As remembered by Ira Grupper
November 23, 2012

Guyot was a true and clear voice in the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, and in the Civil Rights Movement in general. Honor to his memory, and power to the people.

Ira Grupper


As remembered by Lisa Brown Deer
November 23, 2012

The Lost of an Angel

The lost of an angel so breathless and deep, for we knew not all of who he was, but we tried because of him forever to keep the peace. To lose a friend is not something that anyone likes, however it is something that some need. For what we do not realize is that with every soul that leaves, it just means that they have finally done their deed. We must realize that every storm runs out of rain, and just like the rainbow that comes after it, love takes away all the pain. We must not forget the things that he taught us for we have more to look forward to, because if he were here today you know exactly what he would tell you. He would say, stay strong, fight until the end, never, never, never give up and continue to be who you are, and for that he will forever be our friend. So it is okay to cry and to shed a tear today, because tommorrow we will all carry ourselves in a reformed new way. For when Guyot died it was not in vain, for what you do not realize a piece of him is in each of us, and there is where! it will forever stay. So envoke his spirit and continue to be, the people that he believed in, and what he will always truly be, forever a part of us, YPP.

By Terrius, Young People's Project of McComb

Sincerely, Lisa

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. — Margaret Mead


As remembered by Jim Loewen
November 24, 2012

Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields,
See how these names are feted by the waving grass,
And by the streamers of white cloud
and whispers of wind in the listening sky.
The names of those who fought for life,
Who wore at their hearts the fire's center.
Born of the sun, they traveled a short while toward the sun,
And left the vivid air signed with their honor.

[From "I Think Continually of Those who were Truly Great" by Stephen Spender] from memory by Jim Loewen; I hope I got it right.

Jim Loewen


As remembered by Bob Zellner
November 24, 2012

What a man, what a human being, what a life! Our brother Larry Guyot was one of the best our generation produced. His physical courage, matched only by his intellect and dedication to the cause of freedom for all humans, was augmented by his remarkable ability to devise creative stratigy and tactics for the movement.

Bob Zellner


As remembered by Margaret Herring
November 25, 2012

I remember Guyot as a having a mind that was always running, always thinking and strategizing. He always put the movement first. He was very quick and spoke his mind in unusual and forceful ways. Sometimes it took a while for me to wrap my mind around what he was saying.

In December of 1964, we had been working on the Congressional Challenge of the MFDP all fall. This was after the party rejected the idea of a compromise at the Democratic National Convention the summer before. Our work involved collecting thousands of affidavits from local people who had been harassed, intimidated and even beaten and jailed for trying to register to vote and participate in the Democratic Party. These records of the MFDP were in the Jackson office. Guyot came to me and said he had an assignment. He and Jack Minnis had rented a U-Haul trailer. In it they placed all the records of the MFDP — the affidavits, minutes of meetings, address lists, etc.

Guyot asked me to drive the trailer to Len Holt's home in DC. I said "Sure," but he would need to get a hitch put on my car. This was done forthwith and I left at midnight so that it wouldn't be noticed in broad daylight. I drove straight through to DC all night and into the next day by myself. I arrived at Len Holt's house and he was expecting me and the trailer. He unhitched it and we said goodbye. I called Guyot and told him the package had been delivered. He was relieved.

What they were worried about was that Mississippi state officials would stage a raid on the COFO office and seize the papers before we could bring about the challenge to the seating of the Mississippi congressmen when Congress reconvened in January. This had been done in Louisiana in October of 1963 against James A Dombrowski, a SCEF official. See Dombrowski v. Pfister, 380 U.S. 479 (1965).

Margaret Herring
(aka Lauren, McSurely)


As remembered by Charlie Cobb
December 1, 2012

This is an excerpt from the prologue of my upcoming book: This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed.

Shortly after finishing the spring semester [at Howard University] I had boarded a Greyhound bus to begin journeying to Houston, Texas where I planned to participate in a civil rights workshop for young people organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). They had invited me and given me money for the bus ticket because at Howard I had been part of the sit-in movement. However, when my bus reached Jackson, Mississippi — the state's capital — I decided that I should try and meet students there who, like I had been doing as a Howard University student, were sitting in at segregated public facilities and I got off the bus and made my way to them. Although after leaving Washington I could have disembarked in any southern city and met student protesters, Mississippi was so notoriously racist and violent — in my mind, as in the minds of many in my generation, wholly associated with the brutal murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955 — it was difficult for me to imagine students anywhere in the state being brave enough to sit-in. And since students were doing just that in Jackson, I felt compelled to meet them. Although they were black like me I thought they must have some kind of special courage gene to be protesting in Mississippi. As far as I was concerned no place in the entire universe was more oppressive and dangerous for a black person.

I did not intend to stay and join their efforts, but when I told them I was on my way to a civil rights workshop in Texas, Lawrence Guyot, just graduated from Tougaloo College, rose from his seat while giving me a stern look. He was getting ready to head up into the Delta to become part of SNCC's beginning efforts there. In 1964 he would become chairman of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP). "Civil rights workshop in Texas! What's the point of doing that when you're standing right here in Mississippi?" His tone was disdainful, almost bullying, conveying without further words what was at once a challenge and a demand: "So you're down here just to chatter about civil rights, are you? That's useless. If you're serious do something other than mouth words; stay and work with us." Consequently, I never got to Texas and wound up remaining in Mississippi instead of returning to school. I was nineteen-years-old.

Charlie Cobb.


As remembered by daughter Julie Guyot

I want to thank you all for the rich outpouring of condolence and affection for my father. He was unrelenting in his commitment to people and worked up until the very, very end. He had orders out, and died with Sue Sojourner's book on Holmes County by his bed (he'd read it twice and couldn't find a flaw in it). The doctors basically pronounced him dead on April 13th, when he had his first series of heart attacks and the kidney that had been with him for 25 years began to fail. But, he had stuff to do. He wasn't finished yet, and spent the next eight months confusing his doctors with his sheer willfulness, his determination to see things through. It was the first time I got a sense of what everyone had been telling me since childhood about the strength of a man who endured so many beatings, daily death threats, and the tireless efforts he put forth with every step in the Movement. The doctors shook their heads. They took his numbers. He just wasn't supposed to still be here. But, the months passed and he continued to organize, ignoring the doctors and his own body. He was going to be the one to make the decision. And he left when he was ready to do so. Not a moment sooner.

Even Death had a really difficult time dealing with Guyot.

Back in the early 90s, when other doctors told him he was done for and he scoffed, I told him about a dream I'd had. We never really discussed death. It wasn't a topic that ever interested him, but I shared. I told him that he'd died and that I wore a red dress to his funeral. I kept saying, "he's not gone" and people tutted and were sad for the girl who couldn't accept that a great man had gone. But, then I explained, holding up my voter registration card, "he's right here" and everyone understood. And, my Dad smiled. We never discussed it again.

I wanted to share this private moment with all of you because you know who he is, what he was and would've demanded. Honor him, please, in the good works you do; in being unreasonable and forthright as you challenge injustice and work to ensure that everyone has access to the vote, and exercises it. He will be remembered in the many books that speak of his achievements, in the beautiful grandson, who bears an uncanny resemblance to his Paw Paw, but, most importantly, he will continue to live on within the Struggle. So, we ask that you struggle, on national fronts and in your communities. Take people seriously, take your responsibility to each other seriously. Work for freedom. That is how he would want to be celebrated. And, this is the spirit in which we will memorialize him.

Kind regards, Julie


As remembered by Sheila Michaels
December 2, 2012

His loss is an immensity. Guyot was faithful to his principles his whole life. In his last hours in his last day he was reading a manuscript & telling people what soon-to-be-published books to read.

I told him many times that he boosted my feminist ambitions in 1962, making the Civil Rights Movement one of the most freeing experiences of my life. Typically Guyot, he shined it on.

S h e i l a


As remembered by Colia Liddell LaFayette Clark December 8, 2012


Infrequently, I come to the site for updates and new information. After this visit, I will struggle to find time weekly to check for updates. I opened the site and was astonished to read that Lawerence Guyot has transitioned. It seemed just a year ago that we were in Selma, or was it Mississippi, talking briefly of those years in Mississippi.

I must beg the family to please accept my apologies for not having reached out sooner. There is a rush streaming from the bottom of my heart "hold the winds don't let her blow." I remember the fall of 1959 in health class a man talking about pulling together the first NAACP College chapter in class one day. He asked if I would come for a meeting later that evening to join with a group of students gathering to explore the possibilities. I came to the small gathering and listened as the group got down to the business of setting up the first chapter. Guyot was a powerful presence, an insistent contributor to the development and evolution of the Tougaloo chapter.

Across the period from 1959 Guyot radicalized his thinking becoming more aggressove in his thrust toward a new agenda for the State of Mississippi. He resisted attacks on his positions and insults to his character. A true born warrior for human justice and human rights, Lawerence Guyot deserves to be saluted and honored as a giant in our time.

I wish the family well and Guyot a safe walk through the stars.

In Lasting Solidarity,
Colia Liddell LaFayette Clark
Colia L Clark for US Senate
PO Box 7631, New York, NY 10150
(646) 657-7207 (877) 532-6438

© Copyright
(Labor donated)