Rev. James Luther Bevel, 1936-2008
Rev. James Bevel passed away on 19 December 2008 from pancreatic cancer. Bevel was an instrumental figure in coordinating the Nashville sit-in movement in early 1960 and the Freedom Rides of 1961 before joining the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as a staff adviser. During the Birmingham Campaign, he organized a significant number of Birmingham students to march, which brought much-needed national attention to the city. As head of SCLC's Direct Action Project, Bevel organized a voter registration drive in Alabama which eventually led to SCLC's organizing efforts in Selma. He continued to advise King in the Chicago campaign, the antiwar effort, and the Memphis sanitation strike. During the last 20 years of his life, Bevel had a contentious relationship with civil rights leaders and organizations, and troubling relations with his family. We remember him here for his contributions to the African American freedom struggle.
"James Bevel" King Encyclopedia entry
Associated Press article on Bevel's death