Steven F. Lawson

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Steven F. Lawson
Born (1945-06-14) June 14, 1945 (age 73)
ResidenceUnited States
Academic background
Alma materCity College of New York
(B.A. 1966)
Columbia University
(M.A. 1967) (Ph.D. 1974)
ThesisGive Us the Ballot: The Expansion of Black Voting Rights in the South, 1944-1969 (1974)
Doctoral advisorWilliam Leuchtenburg
Academic work
Era20th century
InstitutionsRutgers University
Professor Emeritus of History
Main interestsU.S. since 1945
Civil Rights Movement
African-American Politics
Political And Legal History
Notable works
  • Black Ballots (1976)
  • In Pursuit of Power (1985)
  • Running for Freedom (1991)
  • Debating the Civil Rights Movement (1998)

Steven Fred Lawson (born June 14, 1945) is a noted historian of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.[1] Born in the Bronx, New York, he is the son of Ceil Parker Lawson, a housewife, and Murray Lawson, a retail hardware clerk.[citation needed] He had a sister, Lona Lawson Mirchin, who died in 2004.[citation needed] After teaching at various colleges and universities for forty years, he is now retired, works as an independent scholar, and shares a home in New Jersey with his wife Nancy A. Hewitt and their miniature poodle, Scooter (named after 1950s New York Yankees star and broadcaster Phil Rizzuto).[citation needed]

List of works[edit]


  • (2012) Exploring American Histories. Bedford/St. Martin’s Press.(with Nancy A. Hewitt)
  • (2009) One America in the Twenty-first Century: The Report of President Bill Clinton’s Initiative on Race. New Haven, Yale University Press
  • (2004) To Secure These Rights: President Harry S Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights Boston: Bedford-St. Martin’s.
  • (2003) Civil Rights Crossroads: Nation, Community, and the Black Freedom Struggle. University Press of Kentucky.
  • (2003) Co-authors Darlene Clark Hine; Merline Pitre. Black Victory: The Rise and Fall of the White Primary in Texas. University of Missouri Press.
  • (1998) Co-author Charles Payne. Debating the Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1968. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman- Littlefield.
  • (1997) Running for Freedom: Civil Rights and Black Politics in America Since 1941 (Second ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • (1985) In Pursuit of Power: Southern Blacks and Electoral Politics, 1965–1982. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • (1976) Black Ballots: Voting Rights in the South, 1944-1969 (Reprint with new preface ed.). Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books.


  • "Preserving the Second Reconstruction: Enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, 1965-1975". Southern Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of the South. 22 (1). Spring 1983.
  • "Freedom Then, Freedom Now: The Historiography of the Civil Rights Movement," American Historical Review, 96 (April 1991): 456- 71.
  • Race and Reapportionment, 1962: The Case of Georgia Senate Redistricting, Journal of Policy History, 12(Summer, 2000): 1-28(co-author with Peyton McCrary).



  1. ^ Danielle McGuire, ed. (2011). Freedom Rights: New Perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 9780813134499.

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