Dr. Bernard Lafayette

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“When people show you their worst side, the best response you can have is to find a way to bring the best out of them. Not the worst. So that’s what the teaching of non-violence is all about: you can’t bring the best out of another person if you’re showing them your worst.”                                          – Dr. Bernard Lafayette, episode 222 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Riders, we sit with Civil Rights activist Dr. Bernard Lafayette. In May of 1961, black and white students made history, riding interstate buses into the segregated American south. Lafayette, then age 20, was one of those riders. At 80, he shares his early memories of protest with roommate John Lewis (3:20), the non-violent strategies used to disarm the white mobs of the South (10:50), and traveling from Montgomery, Alabama to Jackson, Mississippi (17:13), only to get arrested several times (21:02).

Then, Bernard shares what the Freedom Riders can teach us about organizing in 2021 (25:39) and how he grappled with the deaths of John Lewis and C.T. Vivian (32:09). Plus– a special guest joins us as we close (37:00). 

Show-notes:


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