The Earl B. Dickerson Chapter of the Black Law Students Association at the University of Chicago is hosting its second installment of the Thurgood Marshall Lecture Series at 12:15 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2007 at the Law School, 1111 E. 60th St. Author and Trinity College political science professor Kevin J. McMahon will discuss his book “Reconsidering Roosevelt on Race,” regarding the role of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in paving the way for the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case that ended state-sponsored segregation in schools.
The chapter’s yearlong speakers series, commemorating the 40th anniversary of Marshall’s historic appointment in 1967 as the first African-American to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, began in November with University of Chicago Professor Cass Sunstein, the Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence. Sunstein gave personal reflections on his experience as a law clerk for Marshall. The series will continue through April.
“We wanted to do something to reflect Justice Marshall’s contribution to the legal landscape and to the African-American community,” said Euler Bropleh, a second-year law student and chapter president.
McMahon’s award-winning book challenges the popular notion that FDR had the opportunity to advance civil rights for African-Americans but lacked the will. It contends that FDR’s administration played a critical role in the U.S. Supreme Court increasing its commitment to racial equality and ultimately culminated in its historic decision in Brown v. Board of Education — a case that Marshall argued when he was chief counsel to the NAACP, before he was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.