All month we have been celebrating Black History Month. Below we recap the Black history resources that we have been highlighting. The 2022 theme for Black History Month is Black Health and Wellness. According to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, “[t]his theme acknowledges the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing throughout the African Diaspora. The 2022 theme considers activities, rituals and initiatives that Black communities have done to be well.”
Robert S. Marx Law Library Display Showcasing the Life of Judge Nathaniel Jones
The law library is pleased to invite you to view the newest display showcasing the life of Judge Nathaniel Jones. The College of Law’s Center for Race, Gender and Social Justice is named in honor of Judge Jones and his life’s work in promoting social justice. The College of Law is privileged to host Judge Jones’s archives. Please come by the main entrance of the law library to view documents and artifacts from Judge Jones’s storied career.
Selected Resources about Black History and the Legal Profession
Session 1: The Foundation
Over the course of their distinguished careers, former ABA presidents Dennis Archer, Paulette Brown and Robert Grey, Jr. have advocated for the change so many now seek and have helped create a foundation of racial equity upon which the profession can now build. This discussion will identify the issues and set the table for a solution-driven dialogue.
Session 2: The Focus
As our society increasingly becomes aware of the historic inequities that continue to impact people of color generally and Black Americans in particular, the legal profession is likewise coming to terms with this reality. Black lawyers are grossly underrepresented and underappreciated in the legal profession and are still more likely to be affected by bias – both conscious and unconscious – throughout their careers. Our panel will discuss the existing strategies and approaches that firms and corporations can use to make the profession more diverse and inclusive. We will also examine and explore other solutions that have yet to be implemented broadly. Listeners will come away with guidance and action items.
Session 3: The Future
The next generation of Black legal leaders will discuss the future of the profession. What are their expectations? What do they want to contribute? How will they transform the profession? What challenges do they face and where will they seek their support? How will they harness the energy of social change movements to effectuate change in the boardrooms?
Session 4: Black Leaders in the Government – Challenges, Opportunities and Solutions
This series concludes with an open descussion with Black political leaders in local and federal government, for a firsthand account of the extraordinary responsibilities they must bear in serving their constituents while acting as voices of change in this emotionally and racially charged environment.
This year, the ABA is celebrating Black Legal Trailblazers, from the 1800s to the present. The individuals have not only been powerful examples of leadership in the legal profession, but have brought about historic change and progress to make the legal field more inclusive today, and more representative of our population as a whole.
Entities across the ABA have come together to provide resources focused on uplifting experience of Black attorneys and communities, and combating anti-Black racism. Pledge to join the Challenge, engaging with these resources every day for 21 days. The Syllabus launches on 2/8 and goes through the end of February.
The National Bar Association was founded in 1925 and is the nation’s oldest and largest national network of predominantly African-American attorneys and judges. Watch the video on their work, titled: We Are History.
The ABA DC office hosted a panel for an event in honor of MLK and Black women leaders, activists, and lawyers of the past, present and future. The panel featured Paulette Brown, former ABA President, Dorcas Adekunle, Dep. Chief of Staff for Rep. Susan Wild, Charmaine Davis, VP of Marsh USA, and Riche Holmes Grant, attorney and entrepreneur, all speaking about “Women Fulfilling the Dream,” of racial justice, inclusion, and empowerment. Watch the video of the panel and hear a recitation and musical accompaniment of Maya Angelou’s and Langston Hughes’s poetry.
Selected Databases to Research Black History
A person’s civil rights ensure protection from discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin or ethnicity, religion, age, and disability. While often confused, civil liberties, on the other hand, are basic freedoms outlined in the Bill of Rights and Constitution. Examples of civil liberties include the right to free speech, to privacy, to remain silent during police interrogation, and the right to have a fair trial. The lifeblood of civil rights protection in the United States is the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”). Click through the pages in this database to learn how far our nation has come in fulfilling its promise of “all men are created equal” and how much further it still can go.
This HeinOnline collection brings together a multitude of essential legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world. It includes every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery, every federal statute dealing with slavery, and all reported state and federal cases on slavery.
A comprehensive collection of scholarship focused on the lives and events which have shaped African American and African history and culture, coupled with precise search and browse capabilities. Features over 7,500 articles from Oxford’s reference works, approximately 100 primary sources with specially written commentaries, over 1,000 images, over 100 maps, over 200 charts and tables¸ timelines to guide researchers through the history of African Americans and over 6¸000 biographies. The core content includes: Africana, which presents an account of the African and African American experience in five volumes; the Encyclopedia of African American history; Black women in America 2nd ed; and the African American national biography.
ProQuest’s Black Freedom Struggle in the United States: Challenges and Triumphs in the Pursuit of Equality
ProQuest’s Black Freedom Struggle in the United States features 2,000 expertly selected primary source documents – historical newspaper articles, pamphlets, diaries, correspondence and more – from pivotal eras in African American history. Documents are focused on six different phases of Black Freedom: 1. Slavery and the Abolitionist Movement (1790-1860) — 2. The Civil War and the Reconstruction Era (1861-1877) — 3. Jim Crow Era from 1878 to the Great Depression (1878-1932) — 4. The New Deal and World War II (1933-1945) — 5. The Civil Rights and Black Power Movements (1946-1975) — 6. The Contemporary Era (1976-2000). The documents presented here represent a selection of primary sources available in several ProQuest databases.
The Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience is a unique database detailing the rich tapestry of the African experience throughout the Americas. Explore interdisciplinary topics through in-depth essays; read the seminal research and timelines that accompany each topic; and search for images and film clips to provide another dimension to your research.
Selected Books to Research Black History
It is not hyperbole to proclaim that a crisis of legal legitimacy exists in the relationships between African Americans and the law and legal authorities and institutions that govern them. However, this legitimacy deficit has largely (but not exclusively) been documented through anecdotal evidence and a steady drumbeat of journalistic reports, but not rigorous scientific research. Based on two nationally-representative samples, this book ties together four dominant theories of public opinion: Legitimacy Theory, Social Identity Theory, theories of adulthood political socialization and learning through experience, and information processing theories, especially the Theory of Motivated Reasoning and theories of System 1 and System 2 information processing. The findings reveal a gaping chasm in legal legitimacy between black and white Americans. More importantly, black people themselves differ in their legal legitimacy. Group identities and experiences with legal authorities play a crucial role in shaping whether and how black people extend legitimacy to the legal institutions that so much affect them.
Blind Goddess brings together the most significant writings of practitioners, professors, and advocates to make sense of what is perhaps the nation’s most astonishing and shameful achievement: the highest per-capita incarceration rate anywhere in the world compounded by the shockingly disproportionate imprisonment of poor people of color. Although there is growing awareness of the huge fiscal cost of mass incarceration, the moral, human, and social devastation of racially skewed law enforcement remains largely unrecognized.
From two of the founders of the Critical Race Theory movement, this is a primer on one of the most influential intellectual movements in American law and politics. The third edition covers a range of emerging new topics and events and also addresses the rise of a fierce wave of criticism from right-wing websites, think tanks, and foundations, some of which insist that America is now colorblind and has little use for racial analysis and study.
The New Jim Crow is a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement. Since its publication in 2010, the book has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year; been dubbed the “secular bible of a new social movement” by numerous commentators, including Cornel West; and has led to consciousness-raising efforts in universities, churches, community centers, re-entry centers, and prisons nationwide.
An account of the legal and extra-legal means by which systemic white racism has kept Black Americans ‘in their place’ from slavery to police and vigilante killings of Black men and women, from 1619 to the present.
Selected Web Resources for Black History
The 1619 Project launched in August 2019 with a special issue of The New York Times Magazine, including essays and creative works by journalists, historians, and artists. The project illuminates the legacy of slavery in the contemporary United States, and highlights the contributions of Black Americans to every aspect of American society. As the official education partner for The 1619 Project, the Pulitzer Center has provided free curricular materials, hosted open-access events, and engaged with educators across the country who are eager to share its perspectives with their students. These partnerships continue to expand and deepen as we support the creation and use of new materials by a growing educator community.
The Paris Exposition of 1900 included a display devoted to the history and “present conditions” of African Americans. W.E.B. Du Bois and special agent Thomas J. Calloway spearheaded the planning, collection and installation of the exhibit materials, which included 500 photographs. The Library of Congress holds approximately 220 mounted photographs reportedly displayed in the exhibition (LOTs11293-11308), as well as material specially compiled by Du Bois: four photograph albums showing “Types” and “Negro Life” (LOT 11930); three albums entitled “The Black Code of Georgia, U.S.A.,” offering transcriptions of Georgia state laws relating to blacks, 1732-1899 (LOT 11932); and 72 drawings charting the condition of African Americans at the turn of the century (LOT 11931). The materials cataloged online include all of the photos in LOT 11930, and any materials in the other groups for which copy negatives have been made.
The collection’s photographs by U.S. News & World Report staff photographers of activities and actions relating to African-American civil rights makes it one of the division’s richest sources of rights-free images of this movement. The coverage tends to focus on demonstrations, meetings, hearings, and the aftermath of racially motivated violence, rather than showing violent confrontations in progress, as is characteristic of civil rights photographs that have become associated with the period.
Library of Congress: The African-American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture
The exhibit covers four areas –Colonization, Abolition, Migrations, and the WPA– of the many covered by the Mosaic. These topics were selected not only because they illustrate well the depth, breadth, and richness of the Library’s black history collections, but also because of the significant and interesting interplay among them. For example, the “back-to-Africa” movement represented by the American Colonization Society is vigorously opposed by abolitionists, and the movement of blacks to the North is documented by the writers and artists who participated in federal projects of the 1930s.
Explore the history of slavery in the U.S. and the stories of African Americans whose struggles for freedom shaped the nation.
Selected Resources on Ketanji Brown Jackson
If confirmed, Ketanji Brown Jackson would be the first Black woman on the United States Supreme Court!
UC Law Black History Month Interviews
Ashley Nkadi is a second-year law student at the University of Cincinnati and a Nathaniel R. Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice Fellow. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati, where she co-founded the Irate-8, a student-led digital social activist movement. She spoke with us about why celebrating Black History Month is important, especially in the context of the College of Law. Learn more about Ashley’s journey to law school in a Counselor Magazine feature from this past summer.
Travis Hardee is a first-year UC Law student from South Carolina pursuing both his JD and MA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies as part of UC’s dual degree program. He spoke with us about why closing the representation gap in the legal field—one of the least diverse industries—is important to him, and how he hopes to support other Black-identifying people in their pursuit of legal education.
Janelle Thompson is a third-year law student at Cincinnati Law, a Nathaniel R. Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice Fellow, president of the Black Law Student Association (BLSA), Secretary of the Student Bar Association, and a member of the Intellectual Property Club. Janelle was an intern at KMK Law in the summer of ‘21 and plans to join the firm following graduation. You can read more about Janelle and her story on UC Law’s website.
UC Libraries highlighted resources in celebration of Black History Month:
CECH Library’s Social Issues for Criminal Justice Careers, a guide of anti-racism resources for students to help equip them for law enforcement jobs in a diverse society.
Source article highlighting Lucy Oxley, MD, the first person of color ever to receive a medical degree from the College of Medicine.
History LibGuide highlighting African American collections, including The Amistad Research Center providing open access to materials on ethnic & racial history, African Diaspora & civil rights.
Theodore M. Berry Papers, an exhibit highlighting the papers of Theodore Moody Berry, Cincinnati’s first Black mayor.
The Colored Citizen, this exhibit highlights the Archives and Rare Books Library’s issue of The Colored Citizen. This paper was published in Cincinnati sporadically from the height of the Civil War in 1863 until approximately 1869 and was edited by a group of African American citizens from Midwestern cities, including Cincinnati. It was a paper with general news, but with a focus on the political, economic, and cultural affairs that had an impact on African Americans of the age.
Louise Shropshire: An Online Exhibition, an exhibit highlighting Louise Shropshire, a Cincinnati Civil Rights pioneer and composer.
Marian Spencer Papers, this exhibit examines UC alumna and civil rights activist Marian Spencer’s career and her papers, located in the Archives and Rare Books Library.
Oesper Collection Highlights: Honoring African-American Chemists (Alice Ball) this first installment in the Oesper Collection Highlights celebrates African-American History Month. African-American Chemists selected for these profiles were early pioneers in the field – some were the first to achieve PhDs in chemistry, whereas others made significant contributions to study and practice. Sometimes their stories and voices have not been heard. The Oesper Collections and Museum in the History of Chemistry at the University of Cincinnati is highlighting and celebrating these accomplished African-American chemists who contributed across the spectrum of the chemistry discipline.
Poetry Month and ARB-Phillis Wheatley’s Poetry this 2014 blog post highlights the Archives and Rare Books Library’s Phillis Wheatley book.
UC Black History
This video, produced by the UC’s Alumni Association, debuted at the 2019 Onyx & Ruby Gala, hosted by the UC African American Alumni Affiliate. Looking back on its 200-year history, UC reflects on the experiences of its Black students and the enormous contributions of its Black alumni.
This PocketSights tour, accessed through a digital app, shares some of the most important people, places and events in UC’s Black history including triumphs like the creation of the African American Cultural & Resource Center, as well as the early Black struggles for inclusion in residence halls and campus organizations. This trail will help educate students, faculty and neighbors on the importance of African American history around us every day and push us to work for a better racial future for our school, our city and our nation. UC’s Black History Trail was developed as a small group student project in professor Anne Delano Steinert’s African American History in Public course in the spring of 2021.