Lawrence Guyot

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Lawrence Guyot
Born (1939-07-17)July 17, 1939
Pass Christian, Mississippi, U.S.
Died November 23, 2012(2012-11-23) (aged 73)
Mount Rainier, Maryland, U.S.
Alma mater Tougaloo College
Occupation Director Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
Organization Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
Known for Civil rights activist
Movement African-American Civil Rights Movement, Peace movement
Spouse(s) Monica Klein Guyot
Children Julie Guyot-Diangone, Lawrence Guyot III

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 SNCC-CORE project in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and later became director of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party via the 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.

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 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]


  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Julian Bond (December 30, 2010). "Lawrence Guyot oral history interview conducted by Julian Bond in Washington, D.C., 2010-12-30" (Video, Web). Library of Congress. Library of Congress. Retrieved 30 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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