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100 Years of the Nineteenth AmendmentAn Appraisal of Women's Political Activism$
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Holly J. McCammon and Lee Ann Banaszak

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190265144

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190265144.001.0001

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Black Women Cause Lawyers

Black Women Cause Lawyers

Legal Activism in Pursuit of Racial and Gender Equality

Chapter:
(p.257) 11 Black Women Cause Lawyers
Source:
100 Years of the Nineteenth Amendment
Author(s):

Brittany N. Hearne

Holly J. McCammon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190265144.003.0011

This chapter traces the social movement cause lawyering of black women over the last one hundred years. The discussion examines the legal activism of four generations of black women lawyers, investigating the influence of the civil rights and second-wave feminist movements on their activism. For the earliest generation of black women lawyers, late in the nineteenth century, earning a law degree itself was an onerous struggle. The second generation used their legal skills to advocate for black justice within the civil rights movement. A third generation drew on comparisons of racial and gender discrimination, highlighting similarities and furthering the understanding of gender bias. The fourth generation of black women cause lawyers, often working within the legal academy, has led in developing the intersectionality paradigm, which explains how racism and gender bias intertwine. The chapter concludes by considering the significant impacts of black women cause lawyers, including how their insights reveal law’s operation in the lives of women of color and others influenced by multiple politicized identities.

Keywords:   black women, law, legal profession, cause lawyers, civil rights movement, women’s movement

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