Item Details

Interview With Juanita Jackson Mitchell

Elwood, William A; Kulish, Mykola
Online; Online Video; Video
2006; 1988-09-01
Part one. Civil right attorney Juanita Mitchell gives a brief history of the life of Charles Hamilton Houston. She describes Houston's legal case to admit Donald Gaines Murray to the University of Maryland School of Law. Houston used the equal protection clause from the 14th amendment against states that did not admit African American students to their schools. Ms. Mitchell gives a vivid account of this court case. Houston encouraged Maryland lawyers like Mitchell to use the US Constitution to sue Jim Crow out of Maryland laws, which they did. Part two. Ms. Mitchell describes what it was like to be African American in the South during the era of Jim Crow. She recounts living in the African American ghetto in Baltimore during the 1930s. Ms. Mitchell, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1931, worked for the NAACP. She recalls lynchings near Baltimore and how the NAACP tried to organize African American citizens to write to their government representatives to outlaw lynching. Part three. Ms. Mitchell remarks upon the inspiring character of Houston. She tells the story of W. Ashby Hawkins' successful legal argument in 1913 against Baltimore's new municipal segregation residential order, which was like Apartheid. She talks about the heroism of her mother, who served as president of the NAACP. She also talks about the civil rights work of her husband, Clarence Mitchell, especially concerning the Fair Employment Practice Committee. Part four. Because the NAACP could not get tax exempt status for work being done by lawyers, the Legal Defense Fund was started, with Thurgood Marshall at its helm. Ms. Mitchell remembers filing case after case in Maryland led by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. She recalls working with Robert Carter and Jack Greenberg. Ms. Mitchell got her law degree because Houston suggested she do so, and she was the first African American student to write for the law review at the University of Maryland School of Law. She describes what it was like in Baltimore during and after the Brown court case, especially on the day the decision was announced. Part five. Ms. Mitchell remembers the funeral of Houston in 1950. She gives her opinion of why people don't know about Houston. She believes that the civil rights movement really began with Africans jumping off slave ships.
Elwood, William A
Kulish, Mykola
Mitchell, Juanita Jackson, 1913-1992
Digitized by: Cincinnati, Ohio : The PPS Group, 2006.
Source footage for the documentary, The road to Brown : the untold story of “the man who killed Jim Crow” (California Newsreel, 1990), about the life of Charles Hamilton Houston, his crusade for civil rights, and the events that led to Brown v. the Board of Education, the 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared the doctrine of separate but equal to be illegal.
Title supplied by cataloger.
Recorded at Richmond, Virginia.
William A. Elwood Civil Rights Lawyers Project
Related Resources
View online
Related Items
Road to Brown : the untold story of "the man who killed Jim Crow."
William A. Elwood Civil Rights Lawyers Project
Logo for Copyright Not EvaluatedCopyright Not Evaluated