Friday, September 30, 2016

Pye on the Black Lawyer before Brown v. Board of Education

David Kenneth Pye, an independent scholar who holds a PhD from the University of California, San Diego, has posted Before Civil Rights Was in Vogue: The Black Lawyer Before Brown:
Scholars cannot become too infatuated with Equal Protection arguments. Doing so blinds them to the various tactics employed by the pre-Civil Rights Movement African American bar to combat racial segregation and discrimination. Ignoring the actual arguments of historical actors is a form of teleology, in which we allow our knowledge of the present to direct how we interpret the past. History becomes less objective when done in this manner. Moreover, lawyers of today, when presented with teleological scholarship, can remain blind to possibilities open to them to defend clients in the embattled black community and beyond.