Lawrence Guyot

Lawrence Guyot Jr. (July 17, 1939 – November 23, 2012) was an American civil rights activist who was the director of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in 1964.

Guyot, a native of Pass Christian, Mississippi joined the Freedom Movement in Mississippi in 1961, when he was a student at Tougaloo College in Mississippi. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry in 1963. Guyot also directed the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) project in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and later became director of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party via the 1963 Freedom Ballot of 80,000 participants and the Summer Project of 1964.[1] The major accomplishment of SNCC/MFDP was to establish a close bond with the United States Department of Justice.[2] In 1966, Guyot ran for Congress as an anti-war candidate.[3] Guyot was severely beaten many times, including while at the Mississippi State Penitentiary known as Parchman Farm, in the early 1960s stating of his testicles being burned with sticks by police officers.[4] Guyot helped lay the groundwork for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He received a degree in law in 1971 from Rutgers University, and then moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked for the election of Marion Barry as mayor in 1978.

Muhammad Ali, the world boxing champion, was a good friend of Lawrence Guyot.

He has appeared in many documentaries such as Eyes on the Prize in 1987. From the 1990s until the mid-2000s, Guyot often appeared as a commentator on Fox News, defending the legacy of the civil rights movement in heated discussions with hosts Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. He continued speaking out on voting rights issues and encouraged people to vote for President Barack Obama. Until his retirement in 2004, Guyot was a program monitor for the D.C. Department of Human Services’ Office of Early Childhood Development.

His daughter Dr Julie Guyot-Diangone announced on November 24, 2012, that her father died at home in Mount Rainier, Maryland. She said he had heart problems and suffered from diabetes. In addition to his daughter, Guyot is survived by his wife of 47 years, Monica Klein Guyot, a son, Lawrence Guyot III of La Paz, Bolivia, and four grandchildren.[5]

Lawrence Guyot
BornJuly 17, 1939
DiedNovember 23, 2012 (aged 73)
Alma materTougaloo College
OccupationDirector Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
OrganizationMississippi Freedom Democratic Party
Known forCivil rights activist
MovementCivil Rights Movement
Peace movement
Spouse(s)Monica Klein Guyot
ChildrenJulie Guyot-Diangone, Lawrence Guyot III


  1. ^ Library of Congress
  2. ^ Library of Congress
  3. ^ Biography at History makers
  4. ^ Library of Congress
  5. ^ Harris, Hamil R.; Schudel, Matt (November 25, 2012). "Lawrence Guyot, civil rights leader and community activist, dies at 73". The Washington Post. Retrieved 25 November 2012.

Further reading

External links

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Eyes on the Screen

Eyes on the Screen was a project to disseminate the documentary series Eyes on the Prize by file sharing networks without regard to copyright restrictions during the period the series was out of print, 1993-2006.Operating independently from the series producers, Downhill Battle initiated the "Eyes on the Screen" project, along with civil rights activist Lawrence Guyot, in January 2005 digitized copies of the VHS tapes to encourage the use of file sharing networks such as BitTorrent to distribute the film. They also called for people to display the film, particularly on February 8, during Black History Month.

Others took exception to Downhill's use of the series as a tool in the cause of challenging existing copyright law. Some affiliated with the production of the series (particularly producer Henry Hampton's family) have objected that a series about the civil rights movement had now been repositioned as an icon of the copyright reform movement. They pointed out that widespread distribution of illegal copies would make investors and donors less interested in funding a public re-release.

They initially pursued legal action against Downhill Battle and warned several schools planning to screen the film to keep from screening the film as a part of Eyes on the Screen. Hampton's family, represented by the firm Akin and Gump, and Downhill Battle came to a settlement agreement.

As a result, soon after their campaign began, Downhill Battle removed their BitTorrent links and issued a statement asking that all digital and illegal copies of the series be destroyed. They expressed the hope "that our efforts have not interfered with Blackside's efforts" to bring back the series to the public. The campaign instead began to emphasize the promotion of public screening of the series in each state.

Eyes on the Prize cleared all copyright hurdles and was released on DVD about one year from the time of Eyes on the Screen.

Meanwhile, the Eyes on the Screen campaign had been endorsed by groups such as the Bay Area Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement, who wrote: "Therefore, in the spirit of the Southern Freedom Movement, we who once defied the laws and customs that denied people of color their human rights and dignity, we whose faces are seen in 'Eyes on the Prize,' we who helped produce it, tonight defy the media giants who have buried our story in their vaults by publicly sharing episodes of this forbidden knowledge with all who wish to see it."

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Julie Guyot-Diangone

Dr Julie Guyot-Diangone is an adjunct faculty member and professorial lecturer at the American University's School of International Service, and an Assistant Professor at the Howard University School of Social Work, in Washington, D.C., USA. Her research explores the role of social identity in supporting the reintegration of young people into mainstream society post-trauma, such as child refugees and the child soldiers of Sierra Leone. Her field of practice is Displaced Populations, which is frequently associated with Immigrants and Refugees. Dr. Guyot-Diangone extends this definition to include all who live along society's margin, including sex workers, street children, and single mothers managing without supports. She recently presented on Resilience as part of a three-person panel at the annual Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) conference, using Freedom Summer to illustrate how the meaning one places on traumatic experiences inform care for the elderly. She is the daughter of the American Civil Rights Leader Lawrence Guyot.

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