NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Civil rights champion Rev. James Lawson says Marion Barry was among the pioneers of the civil rights movement.
Lawson spoke to The Associated Press after hearing about Barry's death on Sunday at the age of 78.
Lawson led students in non-violent demonstrations that culminated in the 1960 sit-in protests that led to the successful integration of lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee. He was also one of the drafters of the mission statement for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. Barry became the group's first national chairman in 1960.
Lawson said Barry may not have the same profile as civil right leaders like Diane Nash and John Lewis, but that he was one of the movement's very first leaders and a strong proponent of change.
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