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Monday, February 18, 2013

Boyd to Host Pro Lectureship on February 21

The Boyd School of Law is very pleased to announce that it will host the Annual Philip Pro Lectureship in Legal History on Thursday, February 21, 2013.

This year's Pro Lecture will be delivered by Tomiko Brown-Nagin, JD, PhD, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, and Professor of History, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Brown-Nagin will speak about her book, Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement, published by Oxford University Press in 2011. Among many other awards, Courage to Dissent received the prestigious 2012 Bancroft Prize in U.S. History.

In her sweeping history of the Civil Rights movement in Atlanta -- the South's largest and most economically important city -- from the 1940s through 1980, Dr. Brown-Nagin shows that the movement featured a vast array of activists and many sophisticated approaches to activism. Long before "black power" emerged and gave black dissent from the mainstream civil rights agenda a new name, African Americans in Atlanta debated the meaning of equality and the steps necessary to obtain social and economic justice.

Dr. Brown-Nagin's groundbreaking book uncovers the activism of visionaries--both well-known legal figures and unsung citizens--from across the ideological spectrum who sought something different from, or more complicated than, "integration." Local activists often played leading roles in carrying out the integrationist agenda of the NAACP, but some also pursued goals that differed markedly from those of the venerable civil rights organization. Dr. Brown-Nagin discusses debates over politics, housing, public accommodations, and schools. She documents how the bruising battle over school desegregation in the 1970s, which featured opposing camps of African Americans, had its roots in the years before Brown v. Board of Education.

Exploring the complex interplay between the local and national, between lawyers and communities, between elites and grassroots, and between middle-class and working-class African Americans, Courage to Dissent tells gripping stories about the long struggle for equality that speak to the nation's current urban crisis. This remarkable book will transform our understanding of the Civil Rights era.

The Annual Philip Pro Lectureship in Legal History is free and open to the public. No RSVP required. Please join us on Thursday, February 21, 2013, at 7:30 p.m., in the Thomas & Mack Moot Court Facility. A reception will immediately follow Dr. Brown-Nagin's presentation. For more information regarding the lectureship, click here.