American Civil Rights icon carries on the dream of Martin Luther King Jr.

Rev. James Lawson knows the uphill battle of pushing for change. Lawson was personally invited into the civil rights movement by his friend, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957.

Both men advocated for nonviolent protests to enact change.

Lawson was involved in the Memphis sanitation strike, protesting for the equality of sanitation workers’ rights on April 4, 1968 – their slogan: I AM A MAN.

Rev. Lawson asked Rev. King to help him, and the two men were planning to march in Memphis that afternoon, but King was assassinated that morning.

Rev. Lawson spoke to CBS News following his friend and mentor’s death, “We have got to turn the direction of our city and our land in such a way that the dreams Dr. King had for all people here in Memphis and everywhere will somehow come to pass,” 

This is a calling that Rev. Lawson has carried ever since; at age 90, he still carries the torch of Dr. King’s dream, advocating for change through nonviolence and truth.

Sheldon Neil sat down with the good reverend at The Parliament of the World’s Religions last week in Toronto. Watch the interview here:

(Image Credit: Jeff McAdory/The Commercial Appeal)

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