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A Civil Rights Warrior Remembered

Barrington M. Salmon | 11/28/2012, 10:35 a.m.

Evans' colleague, Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), spoke fondly about the political environment of Rutgers University in the early '70s where the pair attended law school.

"D.C. and the nation have lost one of the Civil Rights movement's perhaps less well-known, yet enormously influential figures," said Cheh, 61. "Lawrence Guyot was a remarkable man, who made extraordinary sacrifices for voting rights and equality for all. Among his many contributions to our country's political and social progress, I am especially grateful for his voice in the D.C. statehood fight and his service to the District. Up to the last moments of his life, he appeared before the council and other bodies to argue for workers' rights and the rights of the less fortunate."

D.C. Mayor Gray also praised Guyot.

"With the passing of Lawrence Guyot, the District of Columbia and the nation as a whole have lost a stalwart champion of justice," said Gray, 70. "As a young student and activist in his native Mississippi, he was steadfast in his advocacy for guaranteeing Civil Rights and voting rights for all Americans. After Lawrence became a District resident, he continued that legacy of advocacy for enfranchisement, organizing and cheerleading for D.C. statehood."

Ken Fealing, former ANC commissioner and 49-year-old political activist, said he's deeply affected by Guyot's death.

"To me, he was the model of citizen activism," he said. "As a fellow ANC commissioner, I saw him as an intellectual giant for civil and human rights. His was a voice that we seldom hear today because of complacency and limited activism ... His energy, intellect, and voice was a model for citizen activism and citizen leadership."