September 5, 2013 [Dallas, TX]
Dr. Joerg Rieger (SMU Perkins School of Theology), Elliot Shavin (Dean of SMU Dedman School of Law), Rev. James Lawson, and Willie Baptist at Mariano’s Mexican Restaurant.
Willie and I gathered last night for dinner with Rev. Lawson, Dr. Rieger, and Dean Shavin, before returning to Joerg and Rose Marie Rieger’s home to meet with Dallas-area community leaders.
It has been a tremendous honor to spend time with Rev. Lawson, a major leader in the Civil Rights Movement. We discussed Lawson’s work in Birmingham, Nashville, and Memphis where he was working with the striking Memphis garbage workers at the time of Dr. King’s assassination. Rev. Lawson was instrumental in helping Dr. King, with whom he worked closely, develop further the strategy of non-violent direct action. Non-violent direct action, Lawson explained, is not simply a matter of philosophy or a moral position, it is a social science and, as a strategy, the only hope for a powerful revolutionary social movement in the face of the powers that be.