Civil-rights icon Rev. James Lawson honored with LA street in his name

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Monday, January 15, 2024
LA honors civil-rights icon Rev. James Lawson with street name
A one-mile stretch of Adams Boulevard is being renamed for 95-year-old civil rights icon Rev. James Lawson.

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The city of Los Angeles honored civil-rights icon Rev. James Lawson with a new street named in his honor.

The 95-year-old was a pillar of the 1960s civil-rights movement, working with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to push for integration in the South and getting arrested during nonviolent activism.

Lawson moved to Los Angeles in the 1970s and spent 25 years as pastor at Holman United Methodist Church.

Last week's dedication held near the church renamed a one-mile stretch of Adams Boulevard in his honor.

"I'm deeply grateful," Lawson told the crowd. "My wife and I are very glad this is happening though it has surprised us. As we started out 65 years ago, we did not anticipate this. We expected jail."

Lawson fought tirelessly for equal rights across many states, staging lunch counter sitins as he promoted the strategy of nonviolence with King and others. He also became active in the labor movement and supported rights for the LGBTQ communities, immigrants and other groups.

He said he would cherish the honor from the community.

"Nonviolence is the only way," he said. "Compassion is the only way. Justice is the only way. The end of sexism and racism and violence represent the only way forward. You and I gathered here, maybe we can recommit ourselves to the nonviolent revolutions in the United States that will change you and change the world."