Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Did You Know? African American Biographies: Lawyers and Political Leaders

 Lawyers and Political Leaders

Charlotte E. Ray (1850-1911)
Charlotte E. Ray was born in New York City on January 13, 1850. She graduated from the Howard University School of Law in 1872 and became one of the first women admitted to the District of Columbia Bar, as well as the first female African-American lawyer. Active in the suffrage movement, Ray was a member the National Association of Colored Women. She died in 1911.

Best Known For

Charlotte E. Ray was the first female African-American lawyer in the United States. (source)

George Washington Williams(1849-1891)


Most popularly known as the author of History of the Negro Race in America, widely considered the first objective history of African Americans, George Washington Williams is famous for the oral histories he capturing detailing the experiences of black Americans during the American Civil War. In addition to being an author, Williams was also a pastor, attorney and legislator--the first African-American to serve in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Best Known For

Civil War veteran George Washington Williams is best known as the author of History of the Negro Race in America, widely considered the first objective history of African Americans. (Source)

  Tom Bradley(1917-1998)
Born on December 29, 1917, in Calvert, Texas, Tom Bradley pursued a career as a police officer and attorney before entering politics, becoming the first African-American mayor of Los Angeles in 1973. He oversaw much of the city’s growth and development as a commercial and residential hub, and successfully campaigned for the city to host the 1984 Olympics. Bradley died on September 29, 1998 in Los Angeles, California.

Best Known For

Tom Bradley was a lawyer and police officer who became the first African-American mayor of Los Angeles, serving from 1973 to 1993. (source)

Constance Baker Motley (1921-2005)
Federal Judge Constance Baker Motley was born in Connecticut in 1921. She later joined the Legal Defense and Educational Fund of the NAACP and worked with Thurgood Marshall. Motley won notable civil rights victories in the U.S. Supreme Court, represented Martin Luther King Jr., served in the New York State Senate, was a city borough president and, in 1966, became the first black woman to be appointed to a federal judgeship. She died on September 28, 2005.

Best Known For

Constance Baker Motley was a legal advocate in the Civil Rights Movement. She became the first female African-American federal judge in 1966. (source)

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