Film, Video A Matter of Law: A Memoir of Struggle in the Cause of Equal Rights
About this Item
- A Matter of Law: A Memoir of Struggle in the Cause of Equal Rights
- Judge Robert L. Carter, an intellectual architect for the civil rights movement and the man who argued the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case before the Supreme Court, discussed his recently published memoir, "A Matter of Law: A Memoir of Struggle in the Cause of Equal Rights." "A Matter of Law" is the story of Carter's struggle for equal rights for all Americans. As chief legal assistant to Thurgood Marshall and then as general counsel to the NAACP, he played a central role in crafting the legal strategy for pivotal desegregation cases before the Supreme Court, including Brown v. Board, the celebrated case that outlawed segregation in the nation's public schools. As a civil rights lawyer, Carter led the fight to dismantle the legal structure of segregation in the South, and then brought the campaign North.
- Event Date
- May 25, 2005
- - Robert L. Carter was born on March 11, 1917, in Careyville, Fla., but moved to Newark, New Jersey, where he was raised. Graduating from high school at 16 having skipped two grades, he attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania earned his bachelor's degree in political science. He graduated from Howard University School of Law in 1940 and earned his LL.M. from Columbia Law School in 1941. Carter was then drafted into the armed forces where he experienced the racial prejudice pervading the military. In 1944 upon completion of his career in the Army Air Force, he went to work as a legal assistant to Thurgood Marshall at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. The next year he became an assistant special counsel at the LDF. Carter was one of the lead attorneys on Sweatt v. Painter and Brown and worked on the many other matters of the fund in those years, including Sipuel v. Board of Regents of Oklahoma. In 1956 Carter succeeded Thurgood Marshall as the LDF's general counsel. Over the course of his tenure at the LDF, Carter argued or co-argued and won 21 of 22 cases in the Supreme Court. Among the most important cases Carter worked on after Brown was NAACP v. Alabama (1958), in which the Supreme Court held that the NAACP could not be required to make its membership lists public. Carter left the NAACP in 1968 and worked in a private law firm until 1972 when he was appointed to the bench as a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Over the course of his career, Judge Carter received many awards, honors and degrees. He was a co-founder of the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL). He has served as a member of innumerable committees of the bar and the court and has been associated with a very wide array of educational institutions, organizations and foundations. He has written extensively about discrimination in the United States, particularly school segregation, and of his longtime friend and colleague, Thurgood Marshall and Charles Hamilton Houston.
- Related Resources
- Voices of Civil Rights: http://www.voicesofcivilrights.org/ External
- Running Time
- 1 hours, 1 minutes, 22 seconds
- Online Format
While the Library of Congress created most of the videos in this collection, they include copyrighted materials that the Library has permission from rightsholders to present. Rights assessment is your responsibility. The written permission of the copyright owners in materials not in the public domain is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. There may also be content that is protected under the copyright or neighboring-rights laws of other nations. Permissions may additionally be required from holders of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights). Whenever possible, we provide information that we have about copyright owners and related matters in the catalog records, finding aids and other texts that accompany collections. However, the information we have may not be accurate or complete.
More about Copyright and other Restrictions
For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.
Credit Line: Library of Congress
Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.
Chicago citation style:
A Matter of Law: A Memoir of Struggle in the Cause of Equal Rights. 2005. Video. https://www.loc.gov/item/webcast-3700/.
APA citation style:
(2005) A Matter of Law: A Memoir of Struggle in the Cause of Equal Rights. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/webcast-3700/.
MLA citation style:
A Matter of Law: A Memoir of Struggle in the Cause of Equal Rights. 2005. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/webcast-3700/>.
More Films, Videos like this
Film, VideoImagining the Equator: Commemorative Geodesic Science in the Andes, 18th-20th Centuries
- Contributor: Capello, Ernesto
- Date: 2013-11-07
Film, VideoGraphic Satire, Paper Money & the Art of Engraving in Britain, 1797-1821
- Contributor: Lahikainen, Amanda
- Date: 2013-11-14
Film, VideoA Teacher's Guide to Education Law
- Contributor: Blokhuis, J.C. - Feldman, Jonathan
- Date: 2013-12-11
Film, VideoEthics, Politics & Institutions: A Moral Vocabulary for Modern Democracy
- Contributor: Lovin, Robin
- Date: 2014-01-23
Film, VideoEnglish Colonialism & Piracy from the Atlantic to the Pacific
- Contributor: O'Brien, Patricia
- Date: 2013-08-01