Themes

The Archive

Digital Archive brought to you
by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Lawson, James M.

b. 1928 - d. 2012

James M. Lawson Jr. became the movement’s leader in the theory and practice of nonviolence. As a conscientious objector he was sent to prison for draft refusal in 1951. Then, as a Methodist missionary in India, he studied Gandhian nonviolence. In graduate studies at Oberlin in 1955 he met Dr. King who urged him to go south to teach nonviolence. The Fellowship of Reconciliation sent Lawson to Nashville where his trainings shaped future leaders and directions of the movement. Lawson also worked with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Lawson was a pastor in Memphis, Tennessee and a leader of Community on the Move for Equality (COME) when sanitation workers began a strike in 1968 for better safety standards and fair wages. Lawson urged Dr. King to support them. King was killed on April 4, 1968 in Memphis.

Associated Archive Content : 16 results

Black Power

This is a chapter sermon for Dr. King's book "Where Do We Go From Here?" The civil rights leader traces the early development of Black Power and its eventual surge onto the national political scene. Though understood as a direct opposition to the nonviolent movement that organizations like SCLC, CORE, and SNCC originally supported, King describes Black Power as a "disappointment wrapped in despair."

Crusade For Citizenship

"Crusade For Citizenship," an initiative of the SCLC, illustrates the importance of Negro voters in the South. The brochure incorporates important facts to implement emphasis on how imperative the cause is.

Findings and Recommendation Committee

This is a recommendation to establish a temporary coordinating committee in Atlanta, GA to deal particularly in the areas of finance and communication.

Letter from Harry Wachtel to David Hunter

AFON received a grant of $60,000 from the Stern Family Fund. Mr. Wachtel offers Mr. Hunter a report of progress and invites him to a conference concerning the grant.

Letter from J. M. Lawson Jr. to MLK

Minister J. M. Lawson Jr. served as director of nonviolent education for SCLC from 1960 to 1967. In this letter to Dr. King he expresses concerns about program efforts for the summer and fall seasons. Mr. Lawson is conscious of the necessary redirection of the project and informs Dr. King that he has recommendations.

Letter from James Lawson to MLK

Rev. Jim Lawson encloses a check on behalf of Protestant missionaries wanting to support the civil rights movement. He mentions that he taught nonviolence to these missionaries and notes that they wanted the contribution to assist in a scholarship for a student that participated in the Birmingham campaign. Rev. Lawson was the individual who invited Dr. King to Memphis on his final mission to help the plight of disenfranchised santitation workers.

Letter from MLK to Harry Wachtel, Esq.

Dr. King updates Attorney Harry Wachtel about a nonviolence workshop that took place at the Penn Center in Frogmore, South Carolina.

Letter from Norman Baugher, Galen Ogden and W. Harold Row to MLK

Prominent officials from the Church of the Brethren's Committee on Race Relations writes Dr. King informing him of the power of television in promoting nonviolence. Since many individuals around the nation are unfamiliar with the practices of nonviolence, Norman Baugher, Galen Oden and W. Harold Row recommend that Dr. King call upon various associates to appear on television and educate the public on the nonviolent philosophy.

Letter from Walter Martin to SCLC Officials

Walter Martin of the American Friends Service Committee, writes to numerous SCLC officials concerning Quaker work in Southern Africa.

National Student Christian Federation Bulletin

The National Student Christian Federation released several bulletins and informational letters regarding the student demonstrations in the 1960s. Herluf Jensen, General Secretary of the NSCF, provides readers with the progress of different trials related to the movement, arrest statistics and institutions involved. Obtaining strong civil rights legislation through Congress is discussed as well.

Pathos and Hope

Dr. King speaks about a trip to the Mississippi Delta where he first witnessed hope and pathos simultaneously.

Revolt Without Violence - The Negroes' New Strategy

In this 1960 U.S. News & World Report article, Dr. King discusses the lunch counter sit-in movement spurring across the American South, the nonviolent approach to civil rights demonstrations, and the evolving status of the Negro.

SCLC Newsletter: September 1961

This September 1961 SCLC newsletter opens with a description of the Annual Convention scheduled to take place later that month in Nashville, Tennessee. The next section includes brief biographies of Harry Belefonte and South African singer Miriam Makeba, both slated to star in the convention's opening benefit concert. This section also outlines the advances SCLC made in its Leadership Training Program and future plans for the Citizenship Program, dedicated to increasing literacy in southern states.

SCLC Staff

This is a list of the SCLC staff members, their positions, and their responsibilities.

Suggestions for S.C.L.C.

Dr. King drafts a list of suggestions for the SCLC and lists the contact information for several of the organizations members.

Telegram from Memphis Sanitation Workers' to MLK

Members of the Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike express an urgent need for Dr. King to travel to Memphis in order to aid them in their crusade.