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Equal Justice Under Law: An Autobiography Paperback – September 10, 1999


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Paperback, September 10, 1999
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Equal Justice Under Law: An Autobiography + Silent Covenants: Brown v. Board of Education and the Unfulfilled Hopes for Racial Reform
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Much like the Delany sisters of Brooklyn, Constance Baker Motley was one of the first black women to overcome the barriers of race and sex to become a leading figure in her field of expertise. In the mid '60s, Motley became the first black female senator, the first black woman elected to the office of Manhattan borough president, and the first woman appointed to the federal bench. Now a senior judge in a U.S. District Court of New York, Motley looks back on a lifetime of unprecedented achievements and gives personal testimony to some of the greatest moments in the civil rights movement in her autobiography, Equal Justice Under Law. Her story is an impressive one: she dramatically recounts sitting on-stage with her son as Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech and recalls the traumatic times in Mississippi that led to the murder of her colleague and friend, Medgar Evers. She served on the NAACP's Legal Defense and Education Fund, fought alongside Thurgood Marshall in Brown v. Board of Education, and made 10 other appearances before the Supreme Court. Fascinating as Motley's life has been, those with some prior knowledge of civil rights may fare best with this book, considering its weighted language and complex prose--an expected caveat, considering the author has spent her life steeped in the language of law. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Motley has a remarkable r?sum?Achief judge of the New York Southern Federal District Court, and the first black female Manhattan Borough president and New York State senator. More remarkable was her 20-year service as civil rights lawyer alongside the legendary Thurgood Marshall as a member of the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund. Key cases helped desegregate public schools and state universities, including the landmark Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, in 1954. One of 12 children from a relatively poor New Haven family, Motley studied at Nashville's all-black Fisk University then at Columbia Law School. Her account of the early legal work that helped lay the foundations of the civil rights movement makes interesting reading despite excessive detail at times. In contrast, she writes frankly about Marshall's temper, her disdain for certain judges appointed by President Kennedy, tensions with Sen. Robert F. Kennedy after opposing his political wishes in New York politics and slights by the white legal establishment in New York City. Even more important are Motley's reflections on what's happening today to the principles around which she dedicated her career. She is critical of the current Supreme Court's stance on affirmative action and does not hide her contempt for Justice Clarence Thomas. She argues eloquently for government vigilance in monitoring the unfinished struggle against racial discrimination. Photos. Movie rights to Marcia Paul, Kay, Collyer and Boose.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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