James Morris Lawson Jr. is an American activist and university professor. Lawson was a leading theoretician and tactician of nonviolence within the Civil Rights Movement. During the 1960s, he served as a mentor to the Nashville Student Movement and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He also joined the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Both FOR and CORE advocated nonviolent resistance to racism. In Nashville, he trained many of the future leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, and in 1959 and 1960 Lawson-trained activists launched the Nashville sit-ins to challenge segregation in downtown stores. In February 1960, Lawson and several others were arrested. However, their actions led to the desegregation of some lunch counters. Lawson also hosted Lawson Live, a weekly call-in radio show, where he discussed human and social rights issues.

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