Interview with Lawrence Guyot
QUESTION 5
INTERVIEWER:

CAN YOU TELL ABOUT UM, HOW WAS COFO ORGANIZED?

Lawrence Guyot:

COFO was organized twice. In 1954, it was organized to deal with the 1954 Supreme Court decision. It was disbanded, and remained dormant, until 1963. In 1963, because of the work and the respect that everyone had for Bob Moses, who had been working since 1960, he was able to pull together Arnell Ponder from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Aaron Henry from the NAACP, Dave Dennis from the Congress of Racial Equality, and he was the unquestioned leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Mississippi. He had earned that respect because of his work in southwest Mississippi and because of the fact that he was successful in recruiting thirteen—that's an apocryphal and coincidental number—thirteen native Mississippians and myself, Lavonne Brown, Jesse Harris, Jesse Davis, Colleen Lidell, uh, Joyce and uh, Dory Ladner, um, some of the na—Emma Bell—some of the names escape me, but these were people who were young, who were tired, with relentless energy, who were committed to changing that state, and uh, we did.