James Lawson

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James Lawson, Then
Born: September 22, 1928, in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Grew up in Massillon, Ohio. Son and grandson of Methodist ministers. Joined CORE [Congress of Racial Equality] in 1948, his freshman year at Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. Withdrew his draft registration in 1949, later served 13 months in federal prison. Was a missionary to India 1953–56.

Then: Methodist minister and divinity student in Nashville; in 1959 began a weekly nonviolence workshop, from which emerged the Nashville Student Movement and, in large part, SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee]. Expelled from Vanderbilt University Divinity School in 1960 for his activities as a leader of the Nashville sit-ins.
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FROM: Oprah Honors American Heroes: The Freedom Riders Reunite 50 Years Later
Published on May 04, 2011

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