If the civil rights struggle were a war, Matthew Perry would receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. He wasn't a billable hours lawyer. He wasn't even a trial lawyer that got paid when he won. He was a trial lawyer who seldom got compensated, was ridiculed, insulted, abused, and jailed for what the legal profession takes for granted. But he persisted and won. Leading the struggle, working around the clock with warmth, dignity, and good humor, he now presides with experienced judgment. - The Honorable Ernest F. Hollings, U.S. Senate
About the Author
W. Lewis Burke is a professor of law at the University of South Carolina. He is the coeditor of At Freedom's Door (University of South Carolina Press, 2000), the story of African American leaders and lawyers during Reconstruction, and the author of many articles on legal history. Burke lives in Columbia. Belinda F. Gergel is the coauthor of In Pursuit of the Tree of Life: A History of the Early Jews of Columbia, South Carolina, and the Tree of Life Congregation and articles on local history in South Carolina. A former chair of the department of history and political science at Columbia College, she also resides in Columbia.