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LaFayette, Bernard

b. 1940

Bernard Lafayette was trained in nonviolence by Jim Lawson while a student at American Bsptist College in Nashville, Tennessee. He became a leader within the sit-in movement and was among the founders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He joined the Freedom Rides led by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). He and his spouse Colia Lafayette worked as lead organizers for the voter rights campaign in Selma, Alabama. In 1963, the Lafayettes were appointed by the American Friends Service Committee to explore nonviolent strategies in Chicago. When Dr. King turned his attention toward Chicago, he asked Lafayette to lead the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s direct action program there. Lafayette was appointed program director of the SCLC in 1967. He carried on the Poor People’s Campaign after King’s assassination in 1968.

Associated Archive Content : 28 results

Biographical Sketch of James Bevel

This one page biography summarizes the achievements of James Bevel, one of the founding members of SNCC. The biography highlights Bevel's involvement with civil rights drives in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, including the Freedom Rides and numerous SCLC action programs.

Do the Following to Keep National Attention Focused on Selma

Dr. King composes a list of activities that will keep national attention focused on Selma. Written on Waldorf Astoria Hotel stationary, the list includes measures such as contacting top level government officials like President Johnson, organizing a march, and enlisting the help of celebrities. Dr. King concludes the list by emphasizing "We must insist that voting is the issue and here Selma has dirty hands."

Executive "Action Team" of Dr. King's SCLC Leads Aggressive Programs for Human Rights

This news release discusses programs developed by the SCLC Executive Action Team to aggressively address the human rights struggles of the American Negro. Some of these programs include the Citizenship Education Program, Operation Breadbasket and the Urban Leadership Program.

Letter from a Fellow American to MLK

This anonymous author expresses his concern regarding SNCC; explaining that the organization and its leaders have a communist backing. The author closes the letter with references to jobs, education, and a list of several small countries in need of assistance.

Letter from Barbara W. Moffett to William Rutherford

Barbara Moffett discusses the possibility of coordinating efforts and collaborative participation between the American Friends Service Committee and SCLC.

Letter From Bernard Lafayette, Jr. to Dennis Brunn

This is a memorandum thanking Mr. Brunn for his letter of support for the labor unions.

Letter from Bernard LaFayette, Jr. to MLK

Before Mr. LaFayette leaves for New York to join the Spring Mobilization to end the war in Vietnam, he offer suggestions towards the housing problems that have occurred in Chicago. He states that there should be an urban renewal project that could possibly help low-income citizens afford respectable housing.

Letter from Carl E. Farris to William Rutherford

Mr. Farris strongly rejects Mr. Rutherford's offered position to answer Dr. King's mail and to act as Deputy Director of CEP at board meetings.

Letter from Cirilo McSween to MLK

Cirilo McSween congratulates Dr. King for the reorganization of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Letter from Hosea Williams to MLK

Hosea Williams submits his resignation as a staff member of the SCLC. He also requests a meeting with the Steering Committee and Dr. King to discuss unfinished items related to the SCLC.

Letter from Hosea Williams to Project Leaders and Field Staff

Hosea Williams, Director of National Mobilization for the Washington Poor People's Campaign, informs each project leader of their immediate supervisors of mobilization.

Letter from MLK to SCLC Action Committee

Dr. King reminds members of the Action Committee of their upcoming meeting. He requests that each member come prepared to "make a report on [their] category of activity concerning the Washington Mobilization."

Letter from Tom Offenburger to MLK

In a letter from Tom Offenburger to Dr. King, a response to a newspaper article written by Bruce Galphin is attached. The article refers to the Civil Rights Movement as a rather violent campaign, due to the harm done to the "good order of society." The response argues on the side of the Civil Rights Movement, and further proves that it is indeed a nonviolent campaign.

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.

Letter from William A. Rutherford to Richard M. Austin

William A. Rutherford, Executive Director of the SCLC, requests that Rev. Austin join a SCLC support committee. The support committee will offer assistance to the SCLC's upcoming campaign in Washington, D.C.

Meeting of Action Committee

Dr. King sends a meeting notice to members of the SCLC Action Committee. He also includes a list of reports to be prepared concerning the Washington Mobilization.

Memo from Barbara Moffett to MLK

Barbara W. Moffett writes a memorandum to Dr. King and Harry Wachtel, commenting on a second draft statement submitted by the American Friends Service Committee to the SCLC. Ms. Moffett also sends a copy of the memo with a handwritten note to Andy Young.

Memo from the East Garfield Park Organizing Staff to James Bevel, Bill Briggs, Bernard LaFayette, and Jim Poling

In this memorandum, the organizing staff of East Garfield Park outlines their plans of action to end slums. Their agenda is designed to operate the organization effectively.

Memorandum from William A. Rutherford and Bernard Lafayette to SCLC Staff Members

William Rutherford and Bernard Lafayette inform the SCLC staff members of an impromptu retreat on the Poor People's Campaign, which will be held at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Nonviolent Leaders

Dr. King, Hosea Williams, and Bernard Lafayette are mentioned and photographed in a newspaper article that has been defaced by external drawings. The article is also covered in adverse commentary about the three leaders.

Poor People's Campaign

Dr. King is touring the nation to meet poor people in an effort to expose their living conditions. He also wants them to join the campaign to fight for better housing and jobs.

Rochester Action for Welfare Rights

Dr. King is invited to make an appearance on behalf of the Rochester Action for Welfare Rights. They explain that they have also extended an invitation to Reverend Bernard Lafayette to attend the event.

SCLC Action Committee Meeting

Dr. King writes to members of the Action Committee informing them of the date, time, and duties required for the meeting.

SCLC Mail Log: February 26, 1968

This is a one-day mail log for incoming mail addressed to Dr. King and other SCLC associates. As an organizational tactic, the log kept track of the high volume of correspondences that came through the office.

SCLC Memo on the Washington Campaign

Tom Offenburger announces a meeting concerning publicity for the 1968 Poor People's Campaign.

SCLC Memo- The Ministers Leadership Training Program

This memo reminds the Steering Committee and Executive Staff, of the SCLC, that "funds for the Ministers Leadership Training Program are not being used to finance currect SCLC direct-action programs."

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

This pamphlet details the history, programs and purpose of The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

Terminated Employee Asks for a Meeting with the SCLC Board

Meredith Gilbert writes to William Rutherford regarding her termination in January 1968 from employment with SCLC.