In the Matter of Color

Author: A. Leon Higginbotham
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195027457
Format: PDF, ePub
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Focusing on the actions and attitudes of the courts, legislatures, and public servants in six colonies, Judge Higginbotham shows ways in which the law has contributed to injustices suffered by Black Americans

Shades of Freedom

Author: A. Leon Higginbotham Jr.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190284099
Format: PDF, ePub
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Few individuals have had as great an impact on the law--both its practice and its history--as A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. A winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, he has distinguished himself over the decades both as a professor at Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard, and as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals. But Judge Higginbotham is perhaps best known as an authority on racism in America: not the least important achievement of his long career has been In the Matter of Color, the first volume in a monumental history of race and the American legal process. Published in 1978, this brilliant book has been hailed as the definitive account of racism, slavery, and the law in colonial America. Now, after twenty years, comes the long-awaited sequel. In Shades of Freedom, Higginbotham provides a magisterial account of the interaction between the law and racial oppression in America from colonial times to the present, demonstrating how the one agent that should have guaranteed equal treatment before the law--the judicial system--instead played a dominant role in enforcing the inferior position of blacks. The issue of racial inferiority is central to this volume, as Higginbotham documents how early white perceptions of black inferiority slowly became codified into law. Perhaps the most powerful and insightful writing centers on a pair of famous Supreme Court cases, which Higginbotham uses to portray race relations at two vital moments in our history. The Dred Scott decision of 1857 declared that a slave who had escaped to free territory must be returned to his slave owner. Chief Justice Roger Taney, in his notorious opinion for the majority, stated that blacks were "so inferior that they had no right which the white man was bound to respect." For Higginbotham, Taney's decision reflects the extreme state that race relations had reached just before the Civil War. And after the War and Reconstruction, Higginbotham reveals, the Courts showed a pervasive reluctance (if not hostility) toward the goal of full and equal justice for African Americans, and this was particularly true of the Supreme Court. And in the Plessy v. Ferguson decision, which Higginbotham terms "one of the most catastrophic racial decisions ever rendered," the Court held that full equality--in schooling or housing, for instance--was unnecessary as long as there were "separate but equal" facilities. Higginbotham also documents the eloquent voices that opposed the openly racist workings of the judicial system, from Reconstruction Congressman John R. Lynch to Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan to W. E. B. Du Bois, and he shows that, ironically, it was the conservative Supreme Court of the 1930s that began the attack on school segregation, and overturned the convictions of African Americans in the famous Scottsboro case. But today racial bias still dominates the nation, Higginbotham concludes, as he shows how in six recent court cases the public perception of black inferiority continues to persist. In Shades of Freedom, a noted scholar and celebrated jurist offers a work of magnificent scope, insight, and passion. Ranging from the earliest colonial times to the present, it is a superb work of history--and a mirror to the American soul.

Simple Justice

Author: Richard Kluger
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 030754608X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Simple Justice is the definitive history of the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education and the epic struggle for racial equality in this country. Combining intensive research with original interviews with surviving participants, Richard Kluger provides the fullest possible view of the human and legal drama in the years before 1954, the cumulative assaults on the white power structure that defended segregation, and the step-by-step establishment of a team of inspired black lawyers that could successfully challenge the law. Now, on the fiftieth anniversary of the unanimous Supreme Court decision that ended legal segregation, Kluger has updated his work with a new final chapter covering events and issues that have arisen since the book was first published, including developments in civil rights and recent cases involving affirmative action, which rose directly out of Brown v. Board of Education. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Negro Thought in America 1880 1915

Author: August Meier
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 9780472061181
Format: PDF, Docs
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Traces the evolution of Negroes' views of their race and its place in society from the end of Reconstruction to the outbreak of World War I

Slavery and the Founders

Author: Paul Finkelman
Publisher: M.E. Sharpe
ISBN: 076564147X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The new edition of this classic work addresses how the first generation of leaders of the United States dealt with the profoundly important question of human bondage. This third edition incorporates a new chapter on the regulation of the African slave trade and the latest research on Thomas Jefferson.

The Supreme Court Race and Civil Rights

Author: Abraham L. Davis
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISBN: 1506320252
Format: PDF, ePub
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Providing a well-rounded presentation of the constitution and evolution of civil rights in the United States, this book will be useful for students and academics with an interest in civil rights, race and the law. Abraham L Davis and Barbara Luck Graham's purpose is: to give an overview of the Supreme Court and its rulings with regard to issues of equality and civil rights; to bring law, political science and history into the discussion of civil rights and the Supreme Court; to incorporate the politically disadvantaged and the human component into the discussion; to stimulate discussion among students; and to provide a text that cultivates competence in reading actual Supreme Court cases.

Race Law and American Society

Author: Gloria J. Browne-Marshall
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 0415952948
Format: PDF, ePub
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Despite the obstacles to equality under law, black Americans have set a determined path to make the words of the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence a reality for themselves and others. This book is an introduction to race and law in America. It is designed as a tool to the understanding of the role of race in American society through the prism of legal cases brought by and against blacks. The analysis will include American colonial laws, landmark Supreme Court cases of the 19th and 20th centuries as well as relevant recent decisions. In examining these cases the reader will discern the great impact civil rights cases have had on American society as well as the effect our society has had on the legal system. It will provide the reader with a foundation for present day discourse involving pressing issues of race in American society.

Slave and Citizen

Author: Frank Tannenbaum
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307826554
Format: PDF
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Slave & Citizen deals with one of the most intriguing problems presented by the development of the New World: the contrast between the legal and social positions of the Negro in the United States and in Latin America. It is well-known that in Brazil and in the Caribbean area, Negroes do not suffer legal or even major social disabilities on account of color, and that a long history of acceptance and miscegenation has erased the sharp line between white and colored. Professor Tannenbaum, one of our leading authorities on Latin America, asks why there has been such a sharp distinction between the United States and the other parts of the New World into which Negroes were originally brought as slaves. In the legal structure of the United States, the Negro slave became property. There has been little experience with Negro slaves in England, and the ancient and medieval traditions affecting slavery had died out. As property, the slave was without rights to marriage, to children, to the product of his work, or to freedom. In the Iberian peninsula, on the other hand, Negro slaves were common, and the laws affecting them were well developed. Therefore, in the colonies of Spain and Portugal, while the slave was the lowest person in the social order, he was still a human being, with some rights, and some means by which he might achieve freedom. Only the United States made a radical split with the tradition in which all men, even slaves, had certain inalienable rights.