Civil rights activist Bernard Lafayette to discuss his journey to Selma at Tuskegee History Center

Published: March 02, 2015
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AUBURN UNIVERSITY – The Rev. Bernard LaFayette Jr. will discuss his new memoir, "In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma," on Wednesday, March 4, at noon at the Tuskegee History Center, 104 S. Elm St. LaFayette was co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC, a political organization that played a role in the civil rights movement. He will discuss his time as a leader of the civil rights movement in Nashville, Tennessee, and Selma, Alabama. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

In his memoir, written with Kathryn Lee Johnson, LaFayette shares the story of his years in Selma. He describes Selma as a small, quiet, rural town when he arrived in 1963. By 1965, he says, it had made its mark in history and was nationally recognized as a battleground in the fight for racial equality and the site of one of the most important victories for social change in the nation. LaFayette was one of the primary organizers of the 1965 Selma voting rights movement and the Selma-to-Montgomery marches, and he relates his experiences of these historic initiatives in close detail.

LaFayette, an ordained minister, organizer and authority on nonviolent social change, is the Distinguished Senior Scholar-in-Residence at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He holds degrees from American Baptists Theological Seminary and Harvard University. He co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960 and was a leader of the civil rights movement in Nashville in 1960 and Selma in 1965. He directed the Alabama Voter Registration Project in 1962, and was appointed by Martin Luther King Jr. to be national program administrator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and national coordinator of the 1968 Poor People's Campaign.

The program is sponsored by the Tuskegee History Center, which houses a civil rights exhibit gallery that includes LaFayette; the Tuskegee Consulting Group; and the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University.

For more information on the program, call (334) 724-0800 or (334) 844-6198.