“Fifty Years After the Sit-Ins: Reflecting on the Role of Protest in Social
Movements and Law Reform” was two-day symposium sponsored by the Law
School’s Center for the Study of Race and Law, the Mid-Atlantic People of
Color Legal Scholarship Conference, and the Virginia Journal of Social Policy
and the Law. Articles from the conference will be published in a
forthcoming, symposium edition of the journal.
The Greensboro Four—David Richmond, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair and
Joseph McNeil (left to right)—leave the Woolworth’s store on Feb. 1, 1960.
UVA Law Dean Paul Mahoney’s Opening Remarks
I want to give a warm welcome to the Mid-Atlantic People of Color Legal Scholarship
Conference (MAPOC) to the University of Virginia School of Law. MAPOC is an
impressive organization, which provides law faculty, especially but not exclusively faculty
of color, the opportunity to share ideas for scholarly projects, workshop works-inprogress, mentor junior faculty, and discuss critical and timely topics. Founded in 1994,
MAPOC has met annually at a different law school for fifteen years, and we are very
pleased that UVA is this year‟s site.
(continued on page 3)
2010 MAPOC
Course offerings
In the fall semester of 2009, Kim Forde-Mazrui, Justice Thurgood Marshall Distinguished
Professor of Law and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Law, taught a
course, entitled “Race and Law,” which examined the response of law to racial issues in a
variety of contemporary legal contexts. The seminar explored topics including
education, employment, criminal justice, voting, interracial relationships and adoption,
and hate speech, and the course materials consisted of a mix of cases and scholarly
commentary. Classes centered on candid discussion about the issues raised in the assigned
materials and the continuing significance of race in the American legal framework.
Students engaged in meaningful scholarly exchanges, examining whether the law has aided
or impeded the cause of civil rights in the past and the extent to which the law can help to
resolve racial issues in the present and future.
Kim Forde-Mazrui
During the 2010 Mid-Atlantic People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference,
current law students were invited to participate a national Student Writing
Competition. Two student papers were recognized. MAPOC selected Peggy
Nicholson, a second-year University of Virginia School of Law student and
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill graduate, for its Outstanding Student
Writing Award. Nicholson‟s paper was entitled, “The Public Outrage Phenomenon
and the Limits on Remedying the Effect of Implicit Racist Attitudes on Capital
Charging Decisions.” In addition, the University of Virginia chapter of the Black
Law Students Association recognized Caroline Donovan, a second-year University of
Virginia School of Law student and Princeton University graduate, for her
outstanding paper exploring the relationship between social movements, legal
reform, and the African Diaspora. Donovan‟s paper was entitled, “NAMUDNO:
Applicability of Affirmative Conceptions of the Voting Rights Act.” Each winner
received $500 and will have their papers published in the MAPOC symposium edition of the Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law.
Caroline Donovan presenting
during the MAPOC luncheon
2010 mapoc
M AHONEY ’ S O PENING R EMARKS (continued from page 1)
I am also proud to recognize the Center for the Study of Race and
Law (the Center), the host of the conference. Under the
leadership of Director Kim Forde-Mazrui and Assistant Director
Tim Lovelace, the Center provides opportunities for students,
scholars, practitioners and community members to examine and
exchange ideas related to race and law through courses, public
lectures, scholarly workshops, symposia, and conferences. The
broad range of topics addressed by the Center has included civil
and human rights, marriage and adoption, affirmative action,
education, voting, Law and Economics, and Islamic Law. Founded
in 2003, the Center has had a very successful first few years
serving the law school community, and has attracted national
attention for its important work.
Tim Lovelace, Kim Forde-Mazrui, Paul Mahoney,
The third principal sponsor of this event is the Virginia Journal of
and MAPOC co-chairs Cassandra Havard and
Social Policy & the Law. Currently under the strong leadership of
Hank Chambers (left to right)
Steve Grossman, the Journal publishes articles exploring the
intersection of law and social policy. Recognizing the significance
of the law and legal institutions to social conditions, the Journal examines salient legal, judicial, and political issues, including
health care policy, welfare reform, criminal justice, voting rights, civil rights, family law, employment, gender issues,
education, and critical race theory.
This brings me to the agenda of the conference, which perfectly combines the scholarly objectives of MAPOC, the Center, and
the Journal. This year‟s conference, entitled “Fifty Years After the Sit-Ins: Reflecting on the Role of Protest in Social
Movements and Law Reform,” is important and timely. It is timely as an historical matter. This Monday, February 1, marks
fifty years to the day that four courageous, African-American students sat at a segregated lunch counter at Woolworth‟s in
Greensboro, North Carolina. Although not the first civil disobedience in pursuit of civil rights, the Greensboro sit-ins sparked a
wave of sit-ins and other nonviolent protests across the South and nation, serving as a catalyst for the civil rights reforms of the
1960s. A central lesson of the sit-ins is the relationship between direct, extralegal action and legal change, including the
importance of ordinary citizens raising their voices in protest to achieve fundamental reforms.
Reflecting on the sit-ins is also important for contemporary concerns. Domestically, such controversies as war, world trade,
global warming, immigration, same-sex marriage, and, of course, health care have provoked ordinary citizens from across the
political spectrum to organize and take to the streets. And beyond our borders, civil unrest and protest movements continue to
emerge across the globe. This conference will examine and re-examine the sit-in movement in historical context, its relationship
to the development of domestic and international reforms, and its implications for contemporary social and legal
Let me close so you can get started. I want to thank the folks who put this event together, which Kim wishes to thank by
name. Last but far from least, I want to thank each of you in the audience, many of whom have travelled great distances, for
participating in this event. It could not be successful without you.
Mapoc panel i
This panel focused on the student sit-ins that were initiated on February 1, 1960, in Greensboro, North Carolina and spread
across the south and nation. The interdisciplinary panel featured law professors, historians and civil rights activists who were
either personally involved in the sit-in movement or who have studied them. Questions included what led to the sit-ins, what
were their objectives and strategies, and what was their most direct impact.
Tomiko Brown-Nagin, University of Virginia School of Law
Theodore C. Delaney, Washington & Lee University, History Department
Brenda Saunders Hampden, Seton Hall University School of Law
J. Gordon Hylton, Marquette University Law School
Deborah E. McDowell, University of Virginia, Carter G. Woodson Institute & English Department
Mythology often surrounds discussions of the sit-in movement, Washington and Lee
University professor of history, Ted Delaney stated, kicking off the 2010 MAPOC
panel explorations of the sit-in movement. The scholarship on the movement is replete
with examples of claims that obscure the historical record, Delaney said, and he offered
several works by prominent civil rights scholars as evidence for his provocative claim.
He first highlighted the ground-breaking work of Duke professor William Chafe, author
of Civilities and Civil Rights: Greensboro, North Carolina, and the Black Struggle for Freedom,
who, according to Delaney, claimed that February 1, 1960 sit-in conducted by four
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical students at a Woolworth‟s store in
Greensboro, North Carolina, was the first sit-in in the history of the civil rights
movement. Similarly, Delaney interrogated the scholarship of renowned Stanford civil
rights scholar, Clayborne Carson, who characterized the sit-ins as “a simple impulsive
act of defiance” that had been only “planned the night before.” For Professor Delaney,
these historical accounts, which reduce the sit-ins to simple spontaneous acts of civil
disobedience, are unfortunately “reminiscent of the Rosa Parks mythology that omitted
her experience at Highlander and standing as a state NAACP officer.”
Delaney challenged conference participants to “re-examine the movement in a much
larger context”—one in which the century‟s civil rights protests began to flourish
during the 1940s and culminated in the 1960s. Delaney subsequently examined sit-ins
in the late 1940s in Northern cities such as Chicago and St. Louis sit-ins, which received
little attention, because they were “much smaller in scale and didn‟t cause changes in
the legal system.”
Delaney also reflected on sit-ins during the 1950s in cities such as Oklahoma City and
Miami, and he underscored the fact that college students at historically black
institutions, such as Southern University and Howard University, had led sit-ins years
before North Carolina A & T students led the famed demonstrations of 1960.
(continued on page 8)
Ted Delaney
Mapoc Panel I
It took years of practice before Brenda Saunders Hampden, Seton Hall University School of Law professor, could discuss her
experiences from the sit-ins and civil rights demonstrations of the 1960s in detail without rancor.
Hampden‟s civil rights experiences predated the sit-ins that occurred in 1960. In 1959, when Hampden moved to High
Point, North Carolina from New York, her mother applied to have her reassigned to the previously all-white, High Point
public schools. Hampden‟s mother was disturbed that despite the U.S. Supreme Court‟s landmark decision in Brown v. Board
of Education five years earlier, the High Point school board, nonetheless, expected her child to attend a segregated school with
inferior educational resources and that was farther from her home than the all white school.
Hampden remembered, “When my mother informed us that we might be
attending a new school in the fall, I thought that another change wouldn‟t be so
bad. Even learning that the school was predominantly white didn‟t concern me,
as the school I attended in New York City was predominately white and many
white students had been my friends. However, of the students who applied for
reassignment that year, the High Point School Board enrolled only me and my
sister, the two of us becoming solely responsible for the desegregation of the
junior and senior high schools in the city of High Point. The magnitude that she
would be the only African-American in the entire school did not register until
she was shown television footage of the “Little Rock Nine,” Hampden remarked,
“It was then that I began to realize the danger and plight of being an AfricanAmerican in the south.”
Hampden‟s experiences desegregating the local schools only emboldened her.
Only days following the Greensboro sit-ins, a small group assembled at
Hampden‟s home in High Point to formulate a strategy to execute similar
demonstrations against Woolworth‟s and other establishments in High Point. “In
Brenda Saunders-Hampden
these planning meetings, we learned Mahatma Gandhi‟s theory of non-violence,
which had been adopted by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. During those meetings,
the group‟s adult advisors made it abundantly clear that the student activists needed to be able to endure even physical
violence without retaliating,” Hampden recalled.
During the local protests, Hampden endured numerous beatings and arrests and was even named a plaintiff in a lawsuit
seeking an injunction to prevent the city from enforcing any policy or practice of racial segregation in the use of High Point‟s
Municipal Hall, which had been leased and operated as a theater.
Hampden‟s arrest at the Paramount Theater had major repercussions. She had graduated early from high school and had
been awarded a full scholarship to the Women‟s College in Greensboro, now known as the University of North Carolina at
Greensboro. Yet, after Hampden‟s arrests at the Paramount Theater, her history teacher, an alumna of the Women‟s College
in Greensboro, wrote a letter to the Board of Trustees stating that, because of Hampden‟s arrest record and civil rights
advocacy, she lacked the fundamental character to attend the institution. The college subsequently rescinded Hampden‟s
scholarship and revoked her admission.
Yet, the 16-year-old turned civil rights veteran did not relent in the face of adversity. In the summer of 1963, following her
high school graduation, Hampden joined renowned civil rights attorney Floyd B. McKissick and they, along with the state
chapter of the NAACP, assisted various communities in North Carolina in planning and executing demonstrations against
various segregated facilities. Hampden also eventually attended and graduated cum laude from Howard University.
After chronicling her extensive civil rights experience, Professor Hampden returned to the conference theme, asking, “[D]o I
think that integration, and hence, law reform, could have been achieved without the protests that proceeded them?”
(continued on page 8)
Mapoc Panel i
Though there had been sit-ins by black activists seeking to end Jim Crow in Virginia as
early as 1939, the February 1, 1960 sit-in in Greensboro, NC proved to be a watershed
moment for black Virginians, Gordon Hylton, professor of law at Marquette University,
said at Friday‟s early morning panel exploring the history of the sit-in movement. Every
major Virginia newspaper devoted extensive coverage to the Greensboro sit-ins, and with
many localities around the state still struggling to implement the U.S. Supreme Court‟s
ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, the Greensboro sit-ins and the wave of direct action it
quickly inspired—in Virginia and throughout the South—signaled a new, more radical
assault on Jim Crow.
According to Hylton, “Virginia had no law that required lunch counters or restaurants to
segregate their patrons.” This form of segregation was the result of, instead, social custom.
However, Hylton continued, “Virginia did have laws requiring segregation at stadiums and
places of public amusement.” Consequently, for segregationists in Virginia, the sit-ins
were “a more outrageous attack” on Southern race relations than other forms of racial
protest, because demonstrators challenged longstanding racial traditions and sought to disturb the sanctity of private property rights of business owners.
Gordon Hylton
In the days following the February 1, Greensboro sit-in, young activists in Richmond, Hampton, Portsmouth, and Norfolk
descended on segregated local lunch counters, and the Richmond sit-ins gained national attention. Hylton stated that
Richmond‟s demonstrations, organized by Virginia Union University students, represented a textbook execution of the sitin tactic. “The students spent a week practicing on the proper way to sit-in,” Hylton noted, recognizing the students‟ deep
concerns for how they might best dramatize their plight.
On February 22, 1960, 200 Virginia Union students, led by Charles Sherrod and Frank Pinkston, converged on the
Richmond Room Restaurant of the Thalhimer‟s Department Store well-dressed and reading canonical texts and their class
notes. This iconic image of sympathetic civil rights activists, Hylton observed, was in stark contrast to the sordid group of
“white hecklers” harassing the Virginia Union students. After a standoff between Thalhimer‟s management and the bold
activists, police conducted the state‟s first mass arrest of sit-in demonstrators, cuffing 34 students for trespassing.
The civil rights movement in Richmond had entered a new phase. Thousands in the city began to participate more actively
in the movement, as they rallied in area churches, joined pickets outside of segregated eateries, and boycotted the
downtown Thalhimer‟s. Moreover, Hylton asserted that Richmond lawyers, such as Oliver Hill, Sr., Clarence Newsome,
Martin A. Martin, became central to the movement‟s success. These lawyer-activists not only mounted a legal challenge to
overturn the “Richmond 34‟s” convictions but also offered high quality legal representation to many other activists who
breached the state‟s Jim Crow laws. Within a year of the arrests of the “Richmond 34,” Thalhimer‟s in downtown
Richmond quietly desegregated and the students, inspired by the example in Greensboro, launched a far-reaching, local
campaign for human dignity.
Mapoc Panel I
“What does studying the sit-ins add to our understanding of law and social change?” University of Virginia professor of law
and history, Tomiko Brown-Nagin asked the crowded audience. Brown-Nagin, building from the scholarship of eminent
civil rights historian Jacqueline Dowd Hall, exhorted law students and professors alike to interrogate traditional legal
pedagogy and the master narrative of the civil rights movement. The conventional means of teaching about the process of
law reform, Brown-Nagin argued, tend to overemphasize how our country suddenly redeemed itself from its racist past and
give the Warren Court too much credit for sparking racial change.
“Sit-ins have to be central to any narrative, any history of constitutional law,” Professor
Brown-Nagin insisted. While the conventional, top-down narrative of law reform “rightly
celebrates the making of civil rights in the courtroom, these accounts need to include the
history of people on the ground. When we don‟t include democratic actors on the ground,
we offer a history that‟s not accurate, devalues agency of people themselves, overstates the
agency of courts, and misrepresents the relationship between law and social change.” According to Brown-Nagin, “The people on the ground, the people in the sit-ins who participated were law shapers, law interpreters, and lawmakers too.”
Tomiko Brown-Nagin
After the Supreme Court‟s landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, many civil rights
activists believed that African-Americans would receive better schooling. Yet, Massive
Resistance and the slow process of law reform drove many student activists into the streets
to rethink the process of legal change. Brown-Nagin stated, “By 1960, many student leaders
didn‟t see the Supreme Court as a beacon of hope but rather as a powerful manifestation of
official indifference the cause of racial equality.”
Disillusioned with lawyers and the courts, the sit-ins offered student activists access to a political struggle unmediated by the
formalities of white men in black robes. “The absence of people with legal expertise was the exciting part of the sit-ins,”
Brown-Nagin recognized. “They afforded everyday citizens the ability to contribute and control the momentum of legal
Brown-Nagin cautioned law professors, who desire to see their students become change agents, that they should avoid
teaching traditional, lawyer and court-centered histories of law reform. Rather, for Brown-Nagin, quoting a 1963 speech
by James Forman, Executive Secretary of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, stated, “„No one leader, no
group of leaders can get your rights. You have to get them for yourselves.‟” Brown-Nagin maintained, “I think at this
moment, at the fiftieth anniversary of the Greensboro sit-ins, it‟s an excellent time to recall those words and to remember
that all citizens can lay claim to the Constitution.”
Mapoc panel i
D ELANEY ON R EVISIONIST H ISTORIES (continued from page 4)
The February 1, 1960 Greensboro sit-in appears to be anything but a spontaneous reaction to Jim Crow, Delaney deduced.
There was an active chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in Greensboro and a local branch (NAACP) on the
A & T campus, and local chapters of both organizations had spearheaded the sit-ins of the 1940s and 1950s. Furthermore, the
A & T students, like the sit-in demonstrators of the 1940s and 1950s, relied on the Gandhian strategy on direct non-violent
action. Delaney surmised, “Whether the A & T students had prior knowledge of these sit-ins is likely but [this conclusion]
needs more research.” He hoped that future scholars would mine more historical evidence to answer this pressing question
and, in turn, begin the important process of demythologizing the sit-in movement‟s origins.
S AUNDERS -H AMPDEN ON H IGH P OINT S IT -I NS (continued from page 5)
Her reply was simple: “Absolutely not.” Hampden maintained, “„With all deliberate speed‟ had been the mantra for so long
during the school desegregation debate; integration of other facilities would happen only with some sustainable form of direct
action. Judicial intervention was necessary, and that was rarely prompted through anything other than demonstrations. The
length of time that transpired between our first demonstrations against the Paramount Theater in October 1960 and the
continued resistance nearly three years later clearly shows that without pressure, integration of that facility might not ever
have occurred on its own.”
Participants prepare for Panel I
Deborah McDowell (standing); Ted Delaney, Brenda Saunders-Hampden, Tomiko Brown-Nagin, and
Gordon Hylton (left to right)
Mapoc panel ii
This panel examined social and legal reform movements in the United States during the last third of the twentieth century.
Topics included movements by ethnic groups other than African-Americans, as well as the women‟s rights, gay rights, labor
and anti-war movements. Panelists also addressed legislative and doctrinal developments influenced by the sit-ins including
state and federal civil rights laws, and constitutional law developments concerning, for example, police discretion, state
action, substantive due process, equal protection, and free expression.
Taunya Banks, University of Maryland School of Law
Risa Goluboff, University of Virginia School of Law
Darren Hutchinson, American University Washington College of Law
Juan F. Perea, University of Florida Levin College of Law
Mildred W. Robinson, University of Virginia School of Law
Taunya Banks
University of Maryland law professor Taunya Banks began Friday‟s second panel by
exploring how the civil rights movement had shaped Justice Thurgood Marshall‟s juridical
approach to cases alleging gender discrimination. At first glance, she said, Marshall seems
to have treated gender and race discrimination claims in the same way, because most early
gender discrimination claims mirrored race discrimination claims—a point he often made
in his opinions. “When Marshall announced his retirement from the bench in 1991, he had
voted favorably on 92 percent of the employment sex discrimination cases before the
Court during his tenure—one percent more than Justice Brennan,” Banks stated. Still,
gender and race claims were sometimes in tension with each other. Banks‟ began her
exploration of Justice Marshall‟s gender jurisprudence guided by two central questions:
“Could the “race man” see the connections between racial and gender discrimination, and
when they were at odds, could he move beyond race?”
According to Professor Banks, several cases clearly demonstrate that Justice Marshall often
struggled when the interests of race and gender equality seemed to directly clash. In
Alexander v. Louisiana, a criminal defendant challenged his grand jury indictment, because the grand jury selection process
discriminated against African-Americans and exempted women. Marshall‟s opinion in the case, however, only analyzed the
invidious discrimination against African-Americans.
Though Marshall was usually a robust proponent of women‟s rights, Banks asserted that this seemingly odd conclusion
reflected Marshall‟s considerable experience as a lawyer with juries in the Deep South. She reasoned that Marshall was often
leery of extending jury service to white women in the South, who he probably believed were likely to be as biased as their
male counterparts. More importantly, extending jury service to women would not guarantee that black women would serve
on juries in communities where black men were routinely excluded. “The exclusion of black and other non-white women
from the discussion supports the black feminist critique that mainstream white feminism ignores the impact of dual
discrimination non-white women experience as a result of their gender and race,” she said.
(continued on page 13)
Mapoc panel ii
P AGE 10
Risa Goluboff, University of Virginia professor of law and history, explored the sit-in movement through the lens of the
mechanisms the police used to arrest its participants. “Much as historians have detailed the sit-ins themselves, and legal
scholars have discussed the Supreme Court‟s struggle over state action in the treatment of sit-in convictions, the low-level
criminal laws the police had at their disposal have largely remained invisible,” Goluboff claimed.
During the civil rights movement, demonstrators had to contend with police heavily armed with vague and ambiguous
criminal laws that they could easily use to stymie any political action and to harass political activists. She stated, “Focusing on
these vagrancy, loitering, breach of the peace, disturbing the peace, and disorderly conduct laws offers new insights into the
relationship between the civil rights movement, other social movements of the time, and a transformation in the
discretionary authority of the police to keep people in their place.”
Indeed, throughout American history and across the nation, police had used such laws
(which she collectively called vagrancy laws) as a form of social control over diverse groups
of people and toward a number of different ends. They employed vagrancy laws variously
to regulate and extract labor from the resident poor, exclude and punish poor strangers,
incapacitate apparent threats to social order, prevent the commission of incipient crime,
enforce racial segregation and subordination, and discipline minorities and nonconformists
of all stripes. “In each instance, police used these laws to demarcate who was out of place in
a given community, who was denied full respect for their mobility, their autonomy, their
lifestyle, their beliefs. Marginal people shared a vulnerability to arrest at almost any time and
any place for any behavior or no behavior at all,” Professor Goluboff explained.
From the 1950s through the early 1970s, clashes between the victims of vagrancy laws and
local officialdom involved representatives of most of the major social movements of the era.
Goluboff recognized the various groups targeted by vagrancy laws. “In addition to civil
rights demonstrators, communists, labor union members, poor people, hippies, homosexuals, women, Native Americans,
Vietnam war protestors, young, urban, minority men, and other dissidents all contested police repression by vagrancy law.”
Risa Goluboff
The vagrancy cases that proliferated all raised similar questions about the constitutional validity of unfettered criminal
regulation of people deemed somehow out of place. The victims of vagrancy laws began to insist on either their right to make
their own place, the faultiness of the whole idea of place, or both. Understood in this way, vagrancy cases both reflected and
propelled the larger culture wars of the 1960s.
When demonstrators challenged the convictions that grew out of the sit-ins, then, they were not only challenging the
legitimacy of segregation laws and state action doctrine. They were also challenging the criminal law regime that gave police
officers such tremendous and unconstrained power over them and others like them. Goluboff powerfully proclaimed,
“Together with the other groups that aimed to undermine the status quo during the long 1960s, they were insisting that
national constitutional norms replace local social ones, that individual autonomy and cultural pluralism replace hierarchical
and conformist social relations, and that the police get out of the business of keeping people in place.”
Mapoc panel ii
P AGE 11
Too frequently, lawyers argue that the Supreme Court jurisprudence is external to politics,
according to American University Washington College of Law professor, Darren
Hutchinson. Yet, the evolution of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT)
movement demonstrates otherwise, Hutchinson said.
In 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court in Bowers v. Hardwick upheld a Georgia sodomy law that
penalized gay sex between consenting adults. Hutchinson asserted that the majority opinion
in Bowers “transformed a case that was ostensibly about the right to privacy into a national
conversation about a right to homosexual sodomy and how homosexual sodomy was to
antithetical to U.S culture and Judeo-Christian traditions.”
Nonetheless, GLBT activists remained determined and initiated a movement strategy, which
departed from the conventional channels of federal litigation. Instead, these activists opted
to lobby state and local governments to decriminalize sodomy and urged private
corporations to offer domestic partner benefits and add sexual orientation to their nondiscrimination policies.
Darren Hutchinson
Within the next decade, the strategy was proving successful. In 1996, the U.S. Supreme
Court in Romer v. Evans ruled that a state law, which denied homosexuals the right to seek and receive legal protection,
advanced no legitimate governmental interest. Hutchinson called Romer “the first positive ruling concerning GLBT rights” and
stated, “Professors often present these cases as disconnected from politics, lobbying, state court efforts, as just the Supreme
Court „getting it right‟ using their own analytical tools to do so.” Rather, he asserted, the shift in the Court‟s jurisprudence
was due to a shift in the American political climate caused by GLBT activism outside of courts.
Hutchinson also attributed the Supreme Court‟s watershed decision in Lawrence v. Texas to a change in the national and
international political landscape. In the years immediately preceding Lawrence, states, responding to the GLBT movement, had
increasingly dropped anti-sodomy statutes from their books and had begun to move away from laws explicitly criminalizing
gay sex. Moreover, during the same period, same-sex marriage had become more common in many other Western
democracies. For Hutchinson, Lawrence was not simply the result of the Justices formalistically applying legal precedent, but
rather a reflection of evolving social and political norms.
Hutchinson, however, counseled of the dangers of a law reform strategy simply focused on winning a landmark Supreme
Court ruling. “There‟s still somewhat of a privileging of federal court litigation even amongst people in the trenches, but the
problems of the litigation model is that the results might not be as transformative as people would like,” Hutchinson warned.
For Hutchinson, nothing epitomized this more in recent GLBT activism than narrow legal arguments that force GLBT activists
to draw too close of an analogy between the GLBT movement and the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Hutchinson,
noting the meaningful differences in the movements, called many of these analogies “problematic” and concluded that these
analogies often “help to foster a lack of understanding between members of both groups.”
Mapoc panel ii
P AGE 12
University of Florida law professor, Juan Perea, opened, “I think we all agree that the civil rights movement is almost certainly
the most important, widespread, and dramatic social movement to have occurred within or at least within reach of, our
lifetimes.” However, Perea raised the question, “Why do we define one movement exclusively as the civil rights movement
and by implication exclude others not so defined? Are there, or have there been, other civil rights struggles that merit our
Perea contended that the iconic status of the civil rights movement and some of the unintended consequences of that
status. The stature of the civil rights movement contributes to the relative invisibility of other civil rights struggles, including
Chicano struggles for civil rights and the American Indian movement, both of which occurred during roughly the same time
period as the African-American movement. “The relative invisibility of these movements may result, in part, because the
content of civil rights for different groups may differ somewhat from the content of civil rights for African Americans,” Perea
suggested. “I believe we should recognize struggles for civil rights even if their content varies from the content of the AfricanAmerican struggle.”
Juan Perea
Roughly contemporaneous with the African-American civil rights movement, Mexican Americans,
or Chicanos, struggled against segregated education and white oppression in the Southwest and the
West during the 1940s and 1950s. Both individual plaintiffs and Latino advocacy organizations like
LULAC and MALDEF litigated in California, Texas. and Colorado to desegregate schools that
Mexican Americans were not allowed to attend. Indeed, one of the key predecessor cases for Brown
v. Board of Education was Mendez v. Westminster School District, a case brought by Mexican American
parents to challenge the segregated schools in Westminster, California. At the time, most Mexican
American children were excluded from white schools by common practice, and California statutes
authorized school segregation. Chicano and Puerto Rican litigants also challenged successfully
California‟s segregated parks and swimming pools, which prohibited use by Mexican American
children. A Latina plaintiff also challenged successfully California‟s anti-miscegenation statute.
Perhaps the most visible Chicano rights struggle to date has been the farm worker movement
spearheaded by Cesar Chavez to protect the rights of exploited and brutalized Mexican American
and Filipino farm workers in California.
Perea also noted that earlier Chicano struggles for civil rights, corresponding to the unique history of Mexican Americans in
the United States, occurred in land grant litigations beginning in the mid-nineteenth century and continuing past the period
known as “the civil rights movement.” The land seized by the United States during its conquest of Mexico was land owned by
Mexicans under Spanish colonial land grants. The U.S. Senate facilitated the conversion of Mexicans‟ lands to ownership by
white Americans by modifying the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and by creating three federal tribunals whose purpose was to
decide the validity of Mexican land grants under the adverse standards of United States law. The federal tribunals provided a
veneer of due process covering a procedure designed to deprive Mexicans of their lands. Perea reasoned, “The legal struggles
of Mexicans to preserve their land ownership under hostile U.S. occupation, under a foreign and hostile legal system, and
against the power and resources of the United States government, should be understood as struggles for civil rights.”
During the 1960s, and inspired by the African-American movement for civil rights, young Indian intellectuals and activists
asserted themselves boldly and launched a Red Power movement. This American Indian movement was intended to restore
sovereignty to American Indian nations, a sovereignty that had been under direct attack since around 1945. The American
Indian movement was able to claim success when President Richard Nixon forcefully repudiated prior federal policies calling
for termination of Indian tribes and for paternalistic federal supervision of Indian affairs. Nixon also voiced important support,
later buttressed by legislation, for Indian self-determination and sovereignty.
(continued on page 13)
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from page 9)
Banks also examined Marshall‟s majority opinion in Florida Star v. B.J.F., a First Amendment case that pitted freedom of the
press against a woman‟s privacy interest. The Florida Star, an African-American weekly newspaper, in violation of both the
newspaper‟s internal policy and a state law prohibiting publishing the name of sexual offense victims, published the full name
of a woman was robbed and raped by “an unknown black man.” Marshall‟s sided with the newspaper, reasoning that the
state‟s interest in protecting the rape victim was likely not served by prohibiting publication of her name.
What Marshall does not mention in his opinion, but surely knew from the record, was that the victim suffered additional
injury as a result of the publication. The day after the story appeared in the Florida Star, the victim‟s home received a telephone
call “from a man threatening to rape [her] again.” The calls and publicity ultimately caused her to change her telephone
number and residence and seek mental health counseling.
Professor Banks emphasized that Marshall‟s position in this case seems consistent with his longstanding support of AfricanAmerican newspapers in the South, which had played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement, and his general belief in
freedom of the press.
“Perhaps Justice Marshall is better described as a „pragmatic feminist,‟ informed by his experience in the South and cognizant
that meaningful equality for black Americans required equality for black men and black women.” Thurgood Marshall, though
progressive for his time in his hiring at the NAACP and Supreme Court, was, in many ways, still a product of those times.
Banks closed her remarks, “Nevertheless, women in the United States are better off today because he was on the Supreme
Court bench at a crucial time in women‟s twentieth century social and legal history.”
(continued from page 12)
Recognizing a fuller scope of civil rights struggles is important in helping us understand the full measure of unremedied past
injustice. “If we take no account of denials of civil rights to Mexican Americans and American Indians, among other groups,”
Perea declared, “then we underestimate dramatically the scope of white racism.” He concluded, “As inspiring as the AfricanAmerican struggle has been, we may find additional inspiration, and more possibilities for justice, if we cast our gaze beyond
the African American civil rights movement, gazing further back, further forward, and to the side.”
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The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, one of the principal organizers of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s,
helped shape the country‟s political future, co-founder Julian Bond said during a Friday‟s keynote address.
“What began 50 years ago is not just history—it was part of a mighty movement that started many years before that, and
continues on to this today,” said Bond, University of Virginia history professor and chairman emeritus of the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People. “Ordinary women, ordinary men proving they can perform
extraordinary tasks in the pursuit of freedom.”
Bond recalled how he first got involved in the civil
rights movement as a Morehouse college student in
Atlanta. While sitting at a café near campus on
February 4, 1960, a student named Lonnie King
showed him a newspaper article on the Greensboro,
N.C., sit-ins at whites-only lunch counters.
“Don‟t you think it ought to happen here?” King
asked. Bond agreed.
Julian Bond
“He said, „Why don‟t we make it happen here.‟ And
before I could say, „What do you mean „we?‟ King,
Joe Pierce and I canvassed the café, talking to
students, inviting them to discuss the Greensboro
event and to duplicate it in Atlanta,” Bond said. “The
Atlanta student movement had begun. We formed
the organization, we reconnoitered at downtown
lunch counters, and within a week, 77 of us had been
Southern student protestors officially formed SNCC later that year. Bond served as the organization‟s communications
director. “Within a year, the organization evolved from a coordinating committee to a hands-on organization, helping local
leadership in rural and small-town communities across the South, helping them participate in a variety of protests and political
and economic organizing campaigns — setting SNCC apart from the civil rights mainstream.”
By 1965, SNCC fielded the largest staff of any civil rights organization in the South. Their efforts had escalated from sit-ins,
Freedom Rides and voter drives to political organizing. “It had built two independent political parties, it had organized labor
unions and agricultural co-ops, it gave the movement for women‟s liberation new energy, it inspired and trained the activists
who began the New Left, it helped expand the limits of political debate within black America and it broadened the focus of the
Civil Rights Movement,” he remarked. “Unlike mainstream groups, which merely sought integration of blacks into the existing order, SNCC sought structural changes in American society itself.”
Later in the decade, the organization‟s leaders, including Stokely Carmichael, made connections to Africa and other parts of
the world. SNCC grew a broader worldview of challenges facing all oppressed people, Bond said.
SNCC started to dissolve in the late 1960s for many reasons. “The current of nationalism, ever-present in black America,
widened at the end of the 1960s to become a rushing torrent, which swept away the hopeful notion of black and white
together that the decade‟s beginning had promised,” Bond declared.
(continued on page 15)
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B OND ON THE S IT - IN M OVEMENT (continued from page 14)
SNCC asked white workers to organize in white communities, which disillusioned many white participants. In other cases, a
decade‟s worth of hard work at subsistence pay was too much. The failure of the Mississippi Democratic Party to gain recognition at the 1964 Democratic National Convention predicted the collapse of white liberal support, Bond said, and to many, the
death of Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers and other civil rights workers “argued that nonviolence was no antidote to a
violent society.”
Despite its demise, Bond said SNCC‟s legacy remains clear. The group refused to apply political tests to members, created an
atmosphere of expectation and anticipation, and widened the definition of politics beyond campaigns and elections to include
organizing political parties, labor unions and
alternative schools.
Due to SNCC‟s efforts, black elected officials
numbered only 72 in 1965 but rose dramatically
to 388 by 1968. Bond himself was elected to the
Georgia House of Representatives in 1965 but
was prevented from taking his seat by members
who objected to his opposition to the Vietnam
War. Eventually he was seated through
re-election and a unanimous decision by the
U.S. Supreme Court.
“SNCC‟s articulation and advocacy of black
power redefined the relationship between black
Americans and white power. No longer would
political equity be considered a privilege, it had
become a right,” Bond said. “One SNCC legacy
is the destruction of the psychological shackles,
which had kept black Southerners in physical
and mental peonage.
“The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee helped to break these chains forever. It demonstrated that ordinary women
and men, young and old, could perform extraordinary tasks.”
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This panel examined the relationship between international and domestic legal change. Panelists explored how social
movements and actors abroad influenced American constitutional and legislative developments, and how domestic social
movements informed developments in international law and the law of other nations.
Carol Anderson, Emory University, African American Studies Dept.
Stephanie Farrior, Vermont Law School
H. Timothy Lovelace, University of Virginia (Ph.D. candidate, History Dept.; J.D., M.A.)
Henry J. Richardson III, Temple University Beasley School of Law
Deena R. Hurwitz, University of Virginia School of Law
In recent years, a new and exciting generation of civil rights scholars has begun to reshape the
studies of the movement, offering fresh counter-narratives that upset conventional, movement
interpretations. The work of Carol Anderson, Emory University professor of African-American
Studies, epitomizes this significant scholarly shift. During her talk on the international
dimensions of the civil rights movement, Anderson remarked, “My paper expands on the new
history of what civil rights scholars have termed the „long civil rights movement,‟ which places
the agitation for equality not in the traditional frame of 1954-68 but rather pushes the temporal
boundaries back into the 1930s and sees this as the work of black and white radicals, generally
communists, who have an internationalist concern with anti-colonialism and eventually
Anderson then offered an additional twist. “I will, however, place the NAACP squarely in this
struggle,” she stated. For years, civil rights scholars and commentators alike have scorned the
national leadership of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
(NAACP) for the organization‟s alleged commitments to red-baiting, a narrowly focused,
domestic agenda, and middle-class politics. However, Professor Anderson‟s account offered
during Friday‟s final panel offered an alternative account of the NAACP‟s activism during the
mid-twentieth century.
After the Second World War, South Africa, swimming against the tide of colonial and racial history, attempted to annex the adjacent international mandate of South West Africa (current-day
Namibia), Anderson explained. Pretoria was confident of U.N. approval for such an
unprecedented move. “Yet,” Anderson exclaimed, “into the breach and into the United Nations
stepped an unlikely duo, the Reverend Michael Scott and the NAACP, to stop the absorption of
350,000 Africans into a white supremacist state.” This seemingly odd couple, a maverick,
communist-leaning Anglican minister and a staid, staunchly anti-communist bureaucratic
organization, launched a skillful assault in the UN to strip away the veneer of legitimacy of South
Africa‟s annexation scheme.
(continued on page 19)
Carol Anderson
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Vermont law professor Stephanie Farrior rounded out Friday‟s panel discussions by exploring the evolution of the right to
petition the United Nations. “When the U.N. was formed,” Farrior began, “it was a beacon of hope for so many people
around the world.” The U.N. Charter was signed in 1945 endeavored to “achieve international cooperation …in promoting
and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language,
or religion.”
However, as Farrior noted, this early anti-discrimination measure only sought to
promote and encourage human rights rather than actually protect human rights.
Consequently, the U.N. Charter contained no provision detailing how victims of
human rights abuses might appeal to the U.N. Farrior argued that this omission was
intentional. The drafters of the U.N., worried about questions of national
sovereignty, actually wanted to limit the U.N.‟s ability to intervene on behalf of
oppressed people across the world and thus sought to ensure that this new
intergovernmental organization “had no mandate to take action at all.”
Stephanie Farrior
In 1948, the U.N. adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which
elaborated each of the rights all humans should be entitled. Like the U.N. Charter,
Farrior maintained, many state authorities were deeply concerned about protecting
their national sovereignty, and the Declaration, accordingly, did not contain a right to
petition the U.N.
Despite the absence of a right to petition the U.N., “Thousands of people around the
world each year still petitioned the U.N.,” Farrior declared. Civil rights activists in
the U.S. were among those petitioners, as they attempted to expose the racial hypocrisy of endorsing freedom abroad but
permitting Jim Crow at home. Farrior offered the example of the Civil Rights Congress, which in 1951, authored a groundbreaking appeal to the U.N., entitled, “We Charge Genocide.” In this massively researched petition, which provided
“documentation of thousands of lynchings and governmental complicity or acquiescence in all of these killings,” Farrior
explained, the Civil Rights Congress alleged that the U.S. was in violation of the U.N. Convention on Genocide.
Nonetheless, during the first two decades of the U.N.‟s existence, its Commission on Human Rights did not respond to “We
Charge Genocide” or any of the other petitions submitted to the U.N. Rather, during this period, the U.N. focused on
standard setting and treaty making. Farrior called this disregard for human rights enforcement an “abdication of
With a dramatic rise of independent African and Asian nations in the U.N, the right to petition the U.N. began to change. In
1967, the U.N. adopted Resolution 1203 (XLII), which allowed the Commission on Human Rights to study and report its
findings on any country engaging in a consistent pattern of gross human rights violations. In 1970, the U.N. adopted
Resolution 1503, which established a petition system for the U.N. Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and
Protection of Minorities to receive and consider non-state communications, which “appear to reveal a consistent pattern of
gross and reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
Professor Farrior ended her talk by acknowledging that petitioning the U.N. remains a complicated process. “It‟s a
staggeringly bureaucratic set of hoops you have to jump through, and horrendous violations continue to take place,” she
lamented. Yet, “enough drops of water eventually wear away the stone.” In recent years, the U.N. has led several successful
efforts to address contemporary manifestations of racial discrimination in the U.S, including investigations highlighting the
lethal effects of toxic waste on migrant workers, the racial impact of Hurricane Katrina, and the need to protect the land
rights of the Western Shoshone people.
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“Local activism can inform global governance,” Tim Lovelace, Assistant Director of the Center and history doctoral candidate,
asserted. However, according to Lovelace, “Most standard narratives do not treat the black South as a critical space for
international legal transformation, and my paper aims to redress this methodological deficiency by highlighting the role of
black Southerners in the global struggle against racism.”
Lovelace argued that a bottom-up examination of the legislative history of the International Convention on the Elimination of
All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Convention), the United Nation‟s most comprehensive treaty on race, vividly illustrates
how ordinary movement participants have informed the development of international human rights law.
In January 1964, a sub-commission from the United Nations tasked with drafting
an international convention designed to eliminate racial discrimination decided
to visit Atlanta, the American city deemed “too busy to hate,” to observe “how a
democratic nation wrestles with its problems.” After learning about the United
Nations‟ visit to Atlanta, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
(SNCC), a group of student activists responsible for spearheading the sit-in
movement throughout the South, organized a weekend of protests to challenge
the idea that Atlanta was “too busy to hate.” The SNCC activists greeted the
international delegation at Atlanta‟s Municipal Airport with placards declaring
“Atlanta‟s Image is a Fraud,” sang the movement anthem “We Shall Overcome”
during a U.N. briefing, and even clashed with Klansmen in the streets adjacent to
a dinner for the U.N. delegation, which had been organized by Atlanta Mayor
Ivan Allen. Lovelace noted that both local and national newspapers called the
weekend of protests “the most volatile civil rights activity in the city in years,”
and in turn, the turbulent visit to Atlanta—a city hailed for being “too busy to
hate”—demonstrated to the U.N. group that the U.S. South was a fruitful site to
explore the production of human rights violations.
Tim Lovelace
Because U.N. officials felt that their Atlanta hosts had attempted to shield them
from the local racial controversy, the international delegation asked to meet with
the student demonstrators from SNCC. Lovelace, then turned to the Convention‟s travaux préparatoires, and showed that
the January 1964 protests and subsequent meeting with the Atlanta activists helped to radically reframe several provisions in
the Convention. “SNCC‟s activism can be particularly appreciated,” Lovelace explained, “in the Convention‟s Article 3
condemnation of racial segregation as well as its Article 4 ban on hate speech and hate organizations.”
For Lovelace, the SNCC demonstrations in Atlanta vividly illustrated how subaltern voices and non-lawyers have informed
global governance in ways that historians and lawyers continue to overlook. He asserted, “By understanding how everyday
people in Atlanta were able to reshape the Convention through the street protests rather than through conventional channels
of diplomacy, we might then begin to have a more robust and nuanced discussion of the capabilities of local activists, highlight
the democratic deficits in international lawmaking, and imagine emancipatory possibilities for future social movements.”
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When sit-in activists of the 1960s placed the African-American struggle for freedom
within the context of the global movement to end colonialism, their internationalist
appeals were rooted in a longstanding African-American protest tradition, Henry
Richardson said during his Friday lecture at the Law School.
Richardson, professor of law at Temple University, argued that it is imperative to
understand the sit-in movement within the framework of a rich, black international
tradition that predates the founding of the United States. “African-Americans have not
just bumped into, nor been episodically surprised by, international issues,” Richardson
stated. “Rather, blacks in America, notwithstanding much official opposition and lack of
academic recognition, have always been involved in international affairs and had interests
in international law, since before they were brought in chains to this territory, and before
America was a nation,” Richardson maintained. “African-Americans have their own
international tradition which arose without either the permission of federal authority in
Washington, or the racial permission of controlling white interests.”
Henry Richardson
Professor Richardson then briefly sketched the history of the black international tradition.
During slavery, African-Americans made claims and demands to be governed by better, more liberation-promising normative
authority “outside” of local American law and policy which upheld slavery and national racism. African-Americans
subsequently looked to a variety of international legal sources, including the Treaty of Berlin of 1885 and the U.N. Charter
of 1945, for better prescription and enforcement of their rights to be free of racism and treated with dignity.
Simultaneously, African-Americans‟ quest for equality inspired other struggles for racial justice across the world and,
according to Richardson, this inspiration is still evident today. “The very notion of such impact was, for instance, recently
reaffirmed in a special way by the award of the Nobel Peace Prize, in 2010, to President Obama as the nation‟s first African
American President, his election standing on the shoulders of the civil rights movement.”
Richardson remains hopeful that international pressure can be used to advance today‟s civil rights agenda. “Treaties and other
instruments of international law,” he closed, “can help African American leaders and the rank and file focus and shape major
local and international demands and strategies towards the most promising path to liberation in America.
(continued from page 16)
Anderson maintained, “Within the span of five hard-fought years, the NAACP and Scott, wielding one human rights charter
after the next, had carved out the political space in the U.N. for non-governmental organizations to debunk the myth of the
white man‟s burden and overt white supremacy as a governing principle for civilized society.” According to Anderson, the
results of the NAACP‟s activism had deep implications for world politics. “In doing so,” Anderson powerfully proclaimed,
“they laid the foundation for the anti-apartheid movement that transformed South Africa from a valued Western ally into an
international pariah.”
Mapoc panel iV
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During the roundtable, participants examined contemporary debates over pressing issues, such as LGBT rights, immigration,
environmental justice, healthcare reform, racial profiling, and felon disenfranchisement. Other questions included whether
protest or other extrajudicial activism can or should play a role in contemporary movements and what role may technology
play in aiding or impeding political activism.
Leonard M. Baynes, St. John‟s University School of Law
Michele B. Goodwin, University of Minnesota Law School
Claudrena Harold, University of Virginia, History Dept.
Muriel Morisey, Temple University Beasley School of Law
Yared Getachew, University of Virginia School of Law
St. John‟s law professor Leonard Baynes began Saturday‟s panel discussion by asserting that nineteenth and early twentieth
century, media representations of African-Americans often perpetuated white supremacy. He argued that “American history
is filled with many examples,” and cited the popularity of minstrel shows and infamous film, “Birth of a Nation,” the highest
grossing motion picture of the silent era.
Leonard Baynes
However, during the civil rights movement, Baynes explained, the media began to play a
different role in the struggle for racial equality. “In the 1960s, the civil rights movement
was televised in national living rooms,” he stated. Baynes attributed this substantial shift in
media coverage of African-American life to a dramatic increase television penetration and
the Federal Communications Commission‟s (FCC) fairness doctrine. Pursuant to the
fairness doctrine established in 1949, the FCC required holders of broadcast licenses to
allow equitable and balanced coverage on controversial issues pertaining to the public
interest. In turn, Baynes argued that television broadcasters were now compelled to
devote more and fairer coverage to African-American activists‟ freedom struggles. “In the
1950s and „60s, television burnished the images of the civil rights movement into
Americans‟ consciousness, and the coverage created an urgency for civil rights laws,” he
He then noted the media paradox in present American society. Although there are more media outlets today than ever
before, he argued, today‟s citizenry is less informed about debates on race and public policy than during the mid-twentieth
century. Baynes linked the recent increase in distorted media coverage to federal deregulation of the media and subsequent
high media consumption. He highlighted the high ratings of provocative television and radio figures, such as Don Imus, who
tend to discuss race in polarizing ways. Baynes maintained that such sensationalized media coverage of race masks the
structural ills that affect everyday people, such as the racialization of poverty and inferior schools more than 50 years after the
Brown decision.
Though many media commentators believe that expanded broadband internet access will be able to bridge the gaps in media
coverage of race, Baynes maintained that reliance on the increased broadband alone will not be able to change the complexity
of civic engagement on race. He emphasized that there remains a digital divide in access to broadband and wireless internet
access in the home. Professor Baynes asserted, “A 2009 Pew Study showed that the internet is not changing the socioeconomic character of civic engagement. It‟s important to understand how affluence and education shape civic engagement.”
(continued on page 23)
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Present-day legal scholars have failed to fully consider the ways in which healthcare is central to racial equality, Minnesota
law professor Michele Goodwin declared. Instead, she contended, law review articles on the contemporary struggle for civil
rights tend to focus on issues such as educational and employment rights. Yet, Goodwin said that this preoccupation has
obscured the legacy of the civil rights movement. “Dr. King said that of all forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare was the
most shocking and inhumane,” she asserted. Equitable healthcare has always been an integral part of the struggle for racial
justice, according to Goodwin, but “scholars have not done their part in recognizing it.”
Goodwin‟s presentation to MAPOC detailed the continuing racial disparities in healthcare.
She observed that African-Americans face gross disparities in rates of cancer, HIV, and heart
disease and lamented that amputations remain the only healthcare procedure where
African-Americans get more treatment than their white counterparts.
But for Professor Goodwin, it is not simply enough for these acknowledge these disparities.
Rather, she‟s interested in what leads to them and challenged her colleagues in law to begin
to write more about policies that produce health disparities. She also encouraged social
justice advocates to rethink race specific medicines. These medicines, at best, Goodwin
said, treat symptoms but do not deal with the underlying sources of health disparities, which
shorten the lives of blacks as well as poor whites.
Goodwin hoped that the Obama healthcare campaign could end health disparities but
recognized that the contemporary healthcare debated was infested by the virus of racism.
Some opponents of proposed healthcare plan, including members of the Tea Party, she said,
had protested the President‟s initiative, because they believed the federal plan to close health disparities would unjustly
benefit racial minorities.
Michele Goodwin
Goodwin also regretted that in the wake of protests that unfairly labeled President Obama a “race man” and that arguably
undermined the life chances of minorities, there was no nationally organized campaign to slow the Tea Party‟s political
advances. “The Congressional Black Caucus had nothing on their website about healthcare. Their aides were on vacation
during the pivotal debates,” she noted. “During the time in which there have been town meetings, there was no countermovement and no [sustained] counter-protests, which is incredibly ironic given how important historically and even in the
present these issues have been for us.”
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Protest actions remain in the advocates‟ arsenal, but in the fifty years since the sit-ins, events
and trends have altered the nature and scope of social justice advocacy, Temple University
professor of law, Muriel Morisey stated during Saturday‟s roundtable discussion.
Morisey first noted, “Many of the protesters now hold positions of power. For example, Rep.
John Lewis of Georgia, who was a leader of the student sit-ins in Nashville, Tennessee, is now
an influential member of the United States House of Representatives.” Second, she recognized
that legislative advocacy rather than protest is now a centerpiece of the social justice
movement and pivotal to many of its successes. Finally, she acknowledged that the face of the
today‟s protest movements have changed dramatically in the last fifty years. “The Leadership
Conference on Civil Rights, for example, has grown exponentially since the days in the early
1960s when A. Philip Randolph, Whitney Young, Joe Rauh and others lobbied for passage of
Muriel Morisey
civil rights legislation aimed primarily at race-based injustices. Now, the LCCR includes
organizations from every sector of the social justice movement including for example,
advocates for international human rights and the American secular movement,” she said. On
the other hand, she maintained, “Today‟s most visible protesters are not those advocating for social justice but far right
extremists who display ignorance of history and shocking indifference to principles of social justice. They would be laughable
if they were not so dangerous. Their protests against health care and health insurance reform are the most notable examples
from the second half of last year.”
Morisey continued, “As a legal academic who is also a former civil rights lobbyist, I see ways in which educators of color,
particularly those of in the fields of law, history and political science should respond to these trends.” Her first
recommendation to these changing trends was that civic-minded, law professors must increase students‟ understandings of
legislative decision-making. “We approach legal education as though as law becomes meaningful only after an appellate court
has issued a holding about it,” Morisey noted. However, she urged law teachers to push their students to engage the
legislative process, because “legislators of color have countless opportunities to influence the laws that undergird the social
justice movement.”
Professor Morisey also encouraged social justice advocates to increase their understanding of regulatory decisionmaking. “Once health care legislation becomes law the battle ground will shift to the thousands of regulations that will
follow. Will our students become lawyers who are equipped to understand and perhaps career influence such decisions?” she
Lastly, Professor Morisey challenged the legal academy to help develop new, cross-cultural leadership for advocacy
organizations. She bemoaned the uncivil acts and racist commentary that has begun to dominate critical social justice issues,
such as the national healthcare debate, and she asserted that this bold, new leadership should be that is capable of fighting the
fear and ignorance that pervades contemporary American political discourse.
Morisey encouraged her colleagues, “As educators we are well-positioned to identify and mentor future leaders. We should
be encouraging some of our most talented students to become social justice advocates and educators.”
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Claudrena Harold, University of Virginia professor of history and African-American Studies, asserted that college professors
and students alike might engage in serious and sustained social activism by applying the theoretical advances offered by the
academy. “Looking at various political initiatives and movements launched at the University of Virginia, my paper invites
critical interrogation into how the broadly defined community and discipline of black studies can and has been mobilized to
confront some of the major issues affecting communities of African descent,” she said.
Harold‟s objectives were two-fold. She first aimed “to provide a descriptive analysis of
how the UVA black studies community has sought to build as well as participate in
larger social movements.” According to Harold, “scholars and students affiliated with
black studies have a history of responding to issues such as mass incarceration within
communities of color, the rising levels of poverty within and beyond the United
States, and the deleterious effects of globalization and neo-liberal forms of American
imperialism on oppressed communities the world over.” Harold noted that in the
2005-2006 school year, University students, acting in the black studies tradition,
organized a living wage campaign for University staff. That spring, seventeen students
held a sit-in for several days in the lobby of Madison Hall to protest the racialization of
labor at the University and poverty wages paid to blue-collar employees.
Claudrena Harold
Harold also sought to “suggest possible ways in which new curricula approaches and
the formalization of new institutional linkages could facilitate the development of a
more radical political vision and praxis within and beyond the University of Virginia.” Harold stated that more primary
research should be done on the intellectual legacy of the late Armstead Robinson, the founder of the Woodson Institute and
University of Virginia history professor. Robinson had eyed possible collaborations with the School of Law to create a
multidisciplinary Master of Arts degree in Afro-American and African Studies. Quoting Robinson, “„Such a program would
be both the logical extension of our current activities and also the first such program in the Commonwealth,‟” she said. “A
major impetus for the creation of an M.A. program was Robinson‟s desire to enhance Woodson‟s institutional links with the
University‟s professional schools.”
Professor Harold concluded, “The most pressing problems facing black communities today are interdisciplinary problems and
inter-communal problems, and so while it‟s important that we have these conversations in academic institutions, it‟s also
important that we are connected to people, institutions, and movements outside of this academic spaces if we are to engage
in transformational politics.”
M OVEMENT (continued from page 20)
“For social justice movements, you must use a combination of old media and new media,” Baynes proclaimed. While Baynes
believes that the internet can be a tool for social justice advocates, he noted that in 2006, Spanish language disc jockeys, he
explained, were integral to mobilizing millions of participants for the pro-immigration marches across the country. Baynes
called media control and access civil rights issues, because “media is a way to gain access to information to inform about the
dimensions of public debate.” Baynes concluded his talk by urging contemporary activists to lobby for new regulations for
more accountable media outlets and to work to ensure that broadband access becomes as ubiquitous as broadcast access.
Mapoc Keynote lecture
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“We‟ve come a long way,” civil rights pioneer, Reverend Charles Sherrod, contended, “but we have a long ways to go.”
Sherrod, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee‟s (SNCC) first field director in Southwest Georgia and current
Albany State University professor of political science, traversed the weekend‟s snow and offered the keynote lecture of the
conference‟s final day. He began his talk by depicting his involvement in the sit-in movement as only one phase in a longer,
personal struggle for freedom, justice, and equality.
Reverend Charles Sherrod
Sherrod stated that the gruesome murder of Emmett Till, “a boy about
[Sherrod‟s] age,” in rural Mississippi captured his attention as a teen
and drew him closer to the civil rights movement. “I can still see the
swollen face and gouged out eyes on the cover of the Jet Magazine,”
Sherrod remembered. Till was kidnapped, badly beaten, and lynched
for whistling at a white woman—a serious transgression of sexual
customs in the Deep South. Though local residents all knew that the
suspects in the case were guilty of Till‟s murder, a jury of twelve white
men, deliberated for shortly more than an hour and acquitted Till‟s
alleged murderers. Much of the world was outraged, and the all white
jury‟s verdict left Sherrod with an existential dilemma. “Where was
justice and mercy,” he wondered after the acquittal. “Where was the
land of the free and the home of the brave? Was the Constitution
written for me? I took those questions with me to college and to
seminary,” Sherrod said.
While in college, three years before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‟s “I Have a Dream” speech, Charles Sherrod was inspiring a
new generation of activists, as he led sit-ins in downtown Richmond, Virginia. In February 1960, Sherrod was a student
leader at Virginia Union University and a member of the famed “Richmond 34.” He declared, “Thousands were involved sitins, marches, boycotts, stand-ins, picketing, or direct nonviolent action. Thousands of black and white people of all ages,
elementary, high school, college students, as well as street people participated in the freedom fight.” Sherrod subsequently
became a full-time organizer in Southwest Georgia and led more than 3000 sit-in demonstrators to jail for challenging the
state‟s Jim Crow laws.
Reverend Sherrod left contemporary activists to remember three points in their future struggles. “First,” Sherrod said, “We
must stay faithful.” Sherrod‟s commentary reflected the Judeo-Christian values that informed the movement‟s emphasis on
nonviolent direct action. Sherrod braved segregationists‟ bullets while organizing in the Jim Crow South and “thought his
time to die.” Through such an audacious faith, Sherrod said, current activists and the people they are organizing may overcome any fears they have from engaging in transformational politics.
Second, Sherrod challenged current activists to reclaim public schools from failure. He argued that minority communities,
plagued by poor schools, face significant dropout rates, often lose many teenage students to homicide each year, and send
increasing numbers of young people to the overcrowding prisons. For Sherrod, it is imperative that minority communities
rededicate themselves to saving public schools, because “giving up on children is giving up on our future.”
(continued on page 25)
Mapoc Keynote lecture
P AGE 25
(continued from page 24)
Finally, he hoped that the young law students, “who would make more than what we would ever know,” would shun
consumerism and instead invest their enormous resources and talents into new infrastructure designed to serve impoverished
communities. Sherrod and his wife had spent the last several decades in Southwest Georgia working with poor farmers to
ensure that they had access to low-interest, federal loans, and in turn, many of these farmers routinely shared their locally
grown products to their neighbors in need. According to Sherrod, this communal spirit was a legacy of the civil rights
movement that its beneficiaries should never forget.
Hank Chambers, Tim Lovelace, former SNCC activist Joan Browning, Charles Sherrod,
Cassandra Havard, and Kim Forde-Mazrui (left to right)
Mapoc works-in-progress
P AGE 26
During MAPOC 2010, the Center hosted workshops for faculty works-in-progress. The participating
scholars and their presentations are noted below.
Dorothy Brown
Title/topic: Black House/White Market (homeownership and the tax system)
COMMENTATOR: Muriel Morisey
Elaine Chiu
Title/Topic: Parental Liability for Child Marriages: The US Story
andre douglas pond cummings
Title/topic: Post Racialism and the Financial Market Crisis
Gilda Daniels
Title/topic: Outsourcing Democracy: Redefining Public-Private Partnerships in Election Administration
COMMENTATOR: Hank Chambers
Meredith Duncan
Title/topic: Gray Rape and Reformative Justice
COMMENTATOR: Michele Goodwin/Julian Cook
Atiba Ellis
Title/topic: Reframing the Discussion: Felon Disenfranchisement and Latent Constitutional Conflicts
COMMENTATOR: Jonathan Stubbs
Xuan-Thao Nguyen
Title/topic: China: We Hardly Know You: Qualitative and Quantitative Inquiry on the New China and Intellectual
COMMENTATOR: andre douglas pond cummings
Jonathan Stubbs
Title/topic: A Demographic Profile of Federal Judicial Appointments From 1909 to 2009
Mapoc works-in-progress
P AGE 27
MAPOC 2010 Works-in-Progress (continued)
Will Rhee
Title/topic: 2050: When Whites Are a Minority and Women Outnumber Men in the Workplace
Kimberly Jenkins Robinson
Title/topic: A Proposal for Collaborative Federalism: Developing a New Theory of Education Federalism that Promotes
Equal Educational Opportunity
Elizabeth Rowe
Title/topic: None of Your Business: When Should Trade Secret Law Shield Disclosures to the Government?
COMMENTATOR: Xuan-Thao Nguyen
Keeva Terry
Title/topic: Same Sex Relationships, DOMA, and the Tax Code: Taxing Same Sex 'Marriage' and the Price of Invisibility
COMMENTATOR: Dorothy Brown
Anders Walker
Title/topic: Blackboard Jungle: Delinquency, Desegregation, & The Cultural Contingency of Rights
COMMENTATOR: Tomiko Brown-Nagin
Jessica Dixon Weaver
Title/topic: Capturing the Psychological Abuse of Children
COMMENTATOR: Margaret Barry
L. Darnell Weeden
Title/topic: Fifty Years after The Civil Rights Protests: A Contextual Application Of 1960‟s First Amendment Supreme
Court Cases to a Social Movement‟s Pursuit of Reforming the Law
COMMENTATOR: Darren Hutchinson
Kamille Wolff
Title/topic: The Secret Behind FICO and the Development of the FICO Proxy
COMMENTATOR: Cassandra Havard
The Center‟s mission is to foster intellectual and scholarly exploration
of the intersections of race and law in American society. It is
motivated by the belief that a deeper appreciation of how these
intersections came about and what their central characteristics are is
necessary for progress. The Center, founded in 2003, advances racial
understanding by providing opportunities for students, scholars,
practitioners and community members to examine and exchange ideas
related to race and law through lectures, symposia and scholarship. In
the last five years, the Center has grown from the dream of a few
students into a vibrant community. We hope to not only continue
the Center‟s current programming but, in addition, cultivate new and
fresh ideas, and build the Center into a major element of the Law
School‟s academic landscape.
Kim Forde-Mazrui became a member of the faculty in 1996 and Director of the
Center in 2003. He teaches courses in criminal law and procedure, constitutional
law, and race and law. His research interests include race and criminal procedure,
race in the child placement process, affirmative action, and reparations.
Forde-Mazrui is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan Law
School, where he received the Carl Gussin Memorial Prize for excellence in trial
advocacy and the Henry M. Bates Memorial Scholarship, the highest award given to
outstanding seniors. He was note editor of the Michigan Law Review and a member
of Order of the Coif, Phi Beta Kappa, and the Golden Key National Honor Society.
Kim Forde-Mazrui
Tim Lovelace became Assistant Director of the Center in 2006. In his role, he
supports the Center‟s short courses, guest lectures, panel discussions, faculty
workshops, and symposia and collaborates with the Director to develop new initiatives
aimed at producing interdisciplinary scholarly analysis and research on issues of race
and law. Lovelace also began work on a Ph.D. in history at UVA when he accepted
the position with the Center.
Tim Lovelace
Lovelace is a graduate of the University‟s Law School, where was an Oliver Hill
Scholar. As a law student, he was President of the Black Law Students Association, a
member of the Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal‟s editorial board, a
member of the Raven Society Leadership Council, and the recipient of the Thomas
Marshall Miller Prize at graduation, an award given by the faculty to an outstanding
and deserving student.