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14 Inspiring Facts About the Work & Life of Civil Rights Activist Bernard Lafayette

Bernard Lafayette, Jr. is a longtime civil rights activist and organizer, who was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He played a leading role in early organizing of the Selma Voting Rights Movement.
Here are other inspiring facts to know about civil rights activist Bernard Lafayette:
 
1. Born in Tampa, Florida on July 29, 1940 to  Bernard Lafayette, Sr., and Verdell Lafayette.
 
2. Moved to Nashville, Tennessee at the age of twenty.
 
3. Enrolled in the American Baptist Theological Seminary. During the course of his freshman year, he took classes in nonviolence at the Highlander Folk School run by Myles Horton, and attended many meetings promoting nonviolence.
 
4. Along with his fellow friends Diane Nash, James Bevel, and John Lewis, all members of the Nashville Student Movement, led sit-ins, such as the 1960 Lunch Counter Sit-In, at restaurants and businesses that practiced segregation.
 
5. Staged a successful impromptu Freedom Ride with his close friend and fellow student activist John Lewis in 1959, while traveling home for Christmas break, when they decided to exercise their rights as interstate passengers by sitting in the front of a bus from Nashville, TN to Birmingham, AL.
 
6. Arrested in Jackson, Mississippi, and jailed at Parchment State Prison Farm during June 1961. During Lafayette’s participation in civil rights activities, he was beaten and arrested 27 times.
 
7. Worked on voting rights and helped to coordinate the 1968 Poor Peoples Campaign.
 
8. Lafayette endured jail time in Birmingham, riots and fire bombings in Montgomery, AL, an arrest in Jackson, MS and jail time at Parchman State Prison Farm during June 1961.
 
9. Worked on the 1966 Chicago Open Housing Movement.
 
10. Honored by the University of Rhode Island with an honorary doctorate in recognition of his lifetime nonviolence leadership for civil and human rights.
 
11. Received his MEd from Harvard University in 1972 and a doctorate in 1974.
 
12. Served as a scholar at the King Center. 
 
13. Taught at several universities, and was  named president of his alma mater, American Baptist Theological Seminary, in 1993.
 
14. Became the director of the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island.
 
 
sources:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/freedomriders/people/bernard-lafayette-jr/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss
http://kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/enc_lafayette_bernard_1940/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss
 
 
 

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