- Series: Race and the American Legal Process/A. Leon Higginbotham, Vol 2 (Book 2)
- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (October 24, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195038223
- ISBN-13: 978-0195038224
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,708,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Shades of Freedom: Racial Politics and Presumptions of the American Legal Process (Race and the American Legal Process/A. Leon Higginbotham, Vol 2) 1st Edition
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"By showing us how profound our struggle has been, and how far we have come, Higginbotham also has shown by implication how difficult the struggles ahead are bound to be."--Emerge
"A carefully researched and impressively documented book...Insightful."--The New York Times Book Review
"An important exploration of some of the most critical and difficult terrain in American history."--The Washington Times
"Shades of Freedom is Leon Higginbotham's masterpiece. It exhibits a towering intellect, a peerless capacity for potent articulation, an unbending integrity and rich reservoirs of deep compassion all coalescing in a dance of incredible beauty and energy."--Justice I Mahomed, Chief Justice of Namibia, Chairperson of the South African Law Commission, Deputy President of the Constitutional Court of South Africa
"Every course in American history must now include as required reading Judge Higginbotham's superb treatment of the legal process from 1619 to the modern era. In Shades of Freedom, as the author concentrates on 'The Precept of Inferiority,' the first of ten precepts which will portray the historical treatment of blacks in America, we are exposed to a kaleidoscope of official conduct--legislative, executive, but especially judicial--that must not be glossed over as a series of past events, but preserved and understood as true recordation of our history."--Ruggero J. Aldisert, Senior Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
"In 1978, Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Jr., published In the Matter of Color, a meticulous examination of how white Americans used law in aid of slavery in the Colonial period. It was a pathbreaking scholarly achievement. 18 years later, judge-turned-professor Higginbotham has produced an impressive sequel to his earlier work. It was worth the wait. Shades of Freedom starts the process (at least one further volume is in early prospect) of bringing the tangled tale of race and law--and of the overarching cultural precepts which govern their interaction--up to date."--Lewis H. Pollak, U.S. District Judge
"One of the nation's leading constitutional scholars demonstrates, with a powerful command of history, the corrosive effects that centuries of racism have had on American justice. Judge Higginbotham's book is a milestone in the continuing effort to understand the manner in which racism has compromised the capacity of law to achieve equal justice for every citizen."--James O. Freedman, President, Dartmouth College
"Leon Higginbotham's Shades of Freedom is a testament to the great tradition of liberal jurisprudence that characterized the crucial legal aspect of the civil rights movement. Alone among the legal minds that comprised that movement, Judge Higginbotham has chronicled the long history of the idea of race in legal discourse, establishing himself as the major scholar of this field, as well as the logical heir of Mr. Justice Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court."--Henry Louis Gates, Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities, Harvard University
"Judge Higginbotham's book is customarily well researched, extensively documented, persuasively written, and offers compelling insights on the painfully slow process of racial progress in America. While W.E.B. Du Bois reminded us that the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line, Judge Higginbotham has documented Du Bois's prophecy in Shades of Freedom, the seminal work on race in the legal system for the twenty-first century."--Charles J. Ogletree, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
"In his powerful treatise, Judge Higginbotham has exposed both the pathology and the potential of the law in either eliminating or perpetuating racial injustice. He has written with the eloquence of a Martin Luther King, the scholarship of a W.E.B. Du Bois, and the superb legal craftsmanship and wisdom of Chief Justice Warren and Thurgood Marshall. For all individuals who believe that history is relevant, Shades of Freedom must be read and reflected on. A must-read book for every generation of Americans."--Kweisi Mfume, President & CEO, NAACP
"Shades of Freedom is a worthy successor to In the Matter of Color. With eloquence and authority, Judge Higginbotham chronicles and analyzes the long, sordid history of the use of law in establishing and maintaining a system in which 'Equal Justice Under Law' is a mockery of the actual practice. Anyone interested in race in America should read this important book."--John Hope Franklin, James B. Duke Professor of History Emeritus, Duke University
"Shades of Freedom magnificently reflects on the systematic denial and betrayal of our past and present rights to full liberty and justice, while providing a sobering and disturbing prognosis of our future progress in achieving our full Constitutional guarantees. It superimposes a historical mosaic of denial and unkept promises. The Judge brilliantly chronicles the insidious patterns of racism that have always short-circuited our quest for unconditional freedom, as embraced by America's most enduring concept 'We the People.' In Shades of Freedom, as in In the Matter of Color, Judge Higginbotham passionately sounds the trumpet for a Rainbow of Freedom for 'We the People.'"--Dr. C. DeLores Tucker, President/Founder, The Bethune-Du Bois Fund
"Judge Higginbotham is once again the smithy, wielding, as a mighty hammer, his powerful intellect, scholarship, historical, and logic, in the forge of justice, seeking to reshape on the anvil of the Constitution, minds badly twisted by racism. In this classic work, Shades of Freedom, Higginbotham takes his readers through historical and social time zones with their sunlight and shadows, showing forward movement and retreat. Given the confused state of race relations today this remarkable book could not be more timely."--Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
"Higginbotham's masterful work is a compelling and convincing examination of how the law developed the official American doctrine of racial inferiority."--Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
"Once again, this great freedom fighter, A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., has masterfully presented a remarkable and refreshingly honest assessment of the role of race in American society and law. With great clarity and perception, Higginbotham exposes underlying cultural assumptions of inferiority and the impact such assumptions have on our collective progress. Shades of Freedom is aptly entitled because in describing the vast spectrum of freedoms enjoyed by African Americans today, it serves as a poignant reminder that there are many miles yet to travel on the road to freedom and equality."--Honorable Damon J. Keith, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
"In my lifetime, two giants of the bench did not make the Supreme Court: Learned Hand and Leon Higginbotham. Now one has written a book that you would expect from him: eloquent, scholarly, compassionate, and a ringing call for justice."--Senator Paul Simon
"In Shades of Freedom one of our greatest legal minds makes a powerful case for turning the use of law to the service of justice. Judge Higginbotham carefully explains the role of law in reinforcing the concept of African American inferiority since the colonial period."--Mary Frances Berry, University of Pennsylvania, and Chairperson, United States Commission on Civil Rights
"Eighteen years is a long time to hold one's breath, but it has been worth the pain and effort. Shades of Freedom is in its own way as remarkable a book as Leon Higginbotham's magnificent In The Matter of Color. It reflects the same mastery of historical research, passion for equality and the rule of law, and judicial temperament. With the publication of this volume, Judge Higginbotham confirms my judgement that he is our leading judicial scholar, and my hope that, with his leadership, this nation will resume its progress toward equal protection of the law for all."--Stanley N. Katz, President, American Council for Learned Societies, and Professor, The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
"After groundbreaking work In the Matter of Color, which covered racism, slavery and the law in colonial America, in Shades of Freedom, the author provides a thorough account of the interaction between the law and racial oppression from colonial times to the present."--JFK School of Government
"By showing us how profound our struggle has been, and how far we have come, Higginbotham also has shown by implication how difficult the struggles ahead are bound to be. The major lesson of this book is that it is folly to go into those struggles without a sound knowledge of our cultural and legal history. If we heed higginbotham--a wise teacher as well as a great judge--we shall not face the future unarmed."--Roger Wilkins in Emerge
Shades of Freedom is a carefully researched and impressivly documented book. It contains insightful chapters on the ancestry, ideology and politics of the idea of racial inferiority as well as thought sections of the Supreme Court's legitimization of racism...Mr. Higginbotham writers clearly, briskly and with controlled passion. And he writes with power and style."--The New York Times Book Review
"On the whole, particularly for those who believe the U.S. Supreme Court has been a longtime friend of African-Americans, this book offers a sobering perspective. The author marshals as impressive volume of cases that could easily lead the reader to despair that the United States will ever become a fair multicultural society.Yet, this is a book for optimists."--The National Law Review
"Mr. Higginbotham's concern with the idology of black inferiority and its influence on American law has led him on an important exploration of some of the most critical and difficult terrain in American history."--The Washington Times
"Shades of Freedom enriches our understanding of the history that we canot escape and encourages us to take responsibility for our future."--Judith A. Hagley
From the Back Cover
In Shades of Freedom, Higginbotham provides a magisterial account of the interaction between law and racial oppression in America from colonial times to the present, demonstrating how the one agent that was entrusted to guarantee equal justice under the law - the judicial system - instead, more often played a dominant role in enforcing the inferior position of blacks, and, on some occasions, eradicated racial injustice. The precept 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 aspects center on a pair of famous Supreme Court cases, which Higgingbotham uses to portray race relations at two vital moments in our history. The Dred Scott decision of 1857 declared that under the United States Constitution, blacks were "so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect". Higginbotham reveals the tragedy that, after the Civil War, and even during the Reconstruction period, the courts construed the new Constitutional amendments with such hostility that the dream of freedom was buried by judges with black robes, politicians posing as statesmen, and vigilantes in white hooded robes. In the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896, which Higginbotham terms "one of the most catastrophic racial decisions ever rendered", the Supreme Court legitimized racial segregation under the deceptive rationale of "separate but equal", which, in practice, became always separate and never equal. Higginbotham also documents the eloquent voices that opposed the openly racist workings of the system, from Reconstruction Congressman John R. Lynch to Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan to African-American scholar W. E. B. Du Bois and Charles Hamilton Houston, William Hastie, and a few other lawyers - both black and white, Jew and Gentile - who confronted the legitimization of racism. To establish the nexus to decades of racism in the past, he asserts that, even today, racial bias still permeates the American consciousness. He shows how six recent events reveal that many public perceptions of black inferiority persist to this day.