James Lawson, a retired United Methodist pastor and civil rights leader whose expulsion from Vanderbilt University caused a national furor 46 years ago, will return to the university as a distinguished professor. The Nashville university announced the one-year appointment in mid-January.
In 1970 a black man named Henry “Dickie” Marrow was murdered in Oxford, North Carolina, allegedly for making a sexual comment to a white woman. Despite eyewitness testimonies, the killers, who were known to be Klansmen, were acquitted by an all-white jury. Vernon Tyson, a United Methodist minister, was one of two white people who attended Marrow’s funeral. His son Timothy was 10.
Coretta Scott King, who died January 31, lived faithfully through marriage to one of the nation’s most famous, danger-risking pastors and became an admired civil rights leader in her own right over the past 38 years.