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Anderson, Charles H.
Birth Year : 1924
Anderson was born in Crab Orchard, KY. In 1969 he became the first African American to win a magistrate election in Jefferson County, KY, and, in 1975, he became the first circuit judge in Jefferson County, 3rd Chancery Division. Anderson was also the first African American candidate for election to the Kentucky Supreme Court, in 1982. For more see "Magistrates, constables are only black county officials," in the Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], p. 9; and "Eleven blacks hold county level posts," in the Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report [1978], pp. 11-12, both by the Commission on Human Rights; and Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges
Geographic Region: Crab Orchard, Lincoln County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Brown, John Michael
Birth Year : 1950
J. Michael Brown is the first African American to be appointed Secretary of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet; he was appointed by Governor Steve Beshear in 2007. Brown was born in New York, the son of John Sylvester Brown and Cora Lewis Brown. He is a graduate of City College of New York, where he earned his undergraduate degree in political science. He was a paratrooper and infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division, where he piloted helicopters, and was later stationed at Fort Campbell, KY, with the 101st Airborne. Brown remained in Kentucky, graduating in 1979 from the University of Louisville School of Law. He has served as a Louisville District Court Judge and as Law Director for the City of Louisville. For more on Brown's career, see L. Lamb, "J. Michael Brown tapped as new Justice Cabinet Secretary," Inside Corrections, vol. 1, issue 4 (January 2008), pp. 1 & 6-7 [available online]; and J. Michael Brown, a Kentucky.gov website.

Subjects: Aviators, Lawyers, Military & Veterans, Migration South, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: New York / Fort Campbell, Christian County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Capers, Jean M.
Birth Year : 1913
Jean Murrell Capers was born in Georgetown, KY. Her family moved to Cleveland, OH, when she was a child. Capers was a teacher in the Cleveland schools before becoming an attorney in 1945. She is a education graduate of Western Reserve University [now Case Western Reserve University]. She was assistant police prosecutor from 1946 until 1949, when she became the first African American elected to the Cleveland City Council. The N.C.N.W. recognized her as one of the 10 outstanding women in public service in 1950. She was the director and organizer of the Central Welfare Association. Capers later became a Cleveland Municipal Court Judge. In 2006, Capers, at 93 years of age, was the oldest practicing member of the National Bar Association. She has received a number of awards, including the 2011 Ohio State Bar Association Nettie Cronise Lutes Award [article online at Call & Post website]. Jean M. Capers is a law graduate of the Cleveland Law School [which merged with the John Marshall School of Law in 1945 to become the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law]. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; The American Bench. Judges of the nation, 2nd edition, ed. by M. Reincke and N. Lichterman; and "Capers oldest member to attend annual convention," National Bar Association Law E-Bulletin, vol. 14, issue 1 (August 2006). Photos of Jean Capers are in the African Americans of Note in Cleveland database.


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Lawyers, Migration North, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Social Workers, Judges
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio

Clayton, Denise
Birth Year : 1952
Judge Denise Clayton was born in Louisville, KY. In 2000, Clayton became the first African American woman appointed to a circuit judgeship in Kentucky when Governor Paul Patton appointed her to the 30th Judicial Circuit, Division 7. Clayton graduated from the University of Louisville Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1976. In 1996, she became the second African American woman judge in the state; she was a Family Court judge. In 2007, Judge Clayton became the first African American woman on the Kentucky appeals court; the appointment was made by Governor Ernie Fletcher. Judge Clayton is the granddaughter of Atwood S. Wilson. She is a graduate of Defiance College and the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. For more see the Louisville Defender, 10/12/00; "Historic choice, new circuit judge has broken barriers before," Lexington Herald Leader, 10/20/2007, Commentary section, p. A12; and "The Honorable Denise Clayton" in Who's Who in Black Louisville, 2nd ed.

See photo image and additional information about Judge Denise Clayton at the Kentucky Court of Justice website.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Darden, George Harry
Birth Year : 1934
George H. Darden was born in Cadiz, KY, to Sammie and Belknap Darden. He is a 1955 graduate of Kentucky State University and a 1964 graduate of Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. He has served in many capacities, including that of chairman of the Legal Commission in Hopkinsville, KY; assistant county attorney in Hamilton County, OH; chief judge of the Cincinnati Municipal Court; and regional attorney of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Atlanta, GA. He is the husband of Gwen M. Darden, who was president of the National Association of Bench and Bar Spouses, Inc. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2000.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration South, Judges
Geographic Region: Cadiz, Trigg County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia

Dearing, J. Earl
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 1969
J. Earl Dearing was the first African American to be appointed deputy clerk of the police court in Jefferson County. He later won the primary for a circuit court judgeship but died before the general election. He advocated outlawing segregation in public accommodations after he and his son were not allowed to view Bambi at a movie theater. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.

See photo image of J. Earl Dearing at Hall of Fame 2000, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Edwards, Brian C.
Birth Year : 1970
In 2009, Brian C. Edwards was appointed by Governor Steve Beshear to serve as Circuit Judge of the 30th Judicial Circuit in the 11th Division.  In 2010, Edwards defeated John J. Vandertoll to remain a Jefferson County Circuit Judge, his term ends in 2019. Judge Edwards was one of three African American appointees to be elected in Jefferson County in 2010. He also serves as a presiding Drug Court Judge. Judge Edwards was the 2004 recipient of the Frank E. Haddad, Jr. Outstanding Lawyer Award given by the Louisville Bar Association. Judge Edwards has practiced law for more than 17 years. He has served as an adjunct professor at the Brandeis School of Law, and as an assistant professor and associate director of the Center for the Study of Crime and Justice in Black Communities, both at the University of Louisville. Judge Edwards, born in Louisville, KY, is a 1992 graduate of Northwestern University (BA) and earned his law degree (JD) at the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1996.

 

   See photo image and additional information about the Hon. Brian C. Edwards at the Citizens for Better Judges website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Judges
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Goodwine, Pamela R.
Birth Year : 1960
In 1999, Judge Pamela Goodwine became the first African American woman appointed to the bench; she was appointed by Governor Paul Patton, and later that year was elected to the position. In 2003, she was the first to be elected Circuit Court Judge in Fayette County and was re-elected in 2006. Judge Goodwine, from Youngstown, Ohio, received her JD from the University of Kentucky in 1994. She was inducted into the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics Alumni Hall of Fame in 2002. During her interview on the Renee Shaw show, Judge Goodwine talks about her life with Crohn's disease. For more see Gatton College of Business and Economics Alumni Hall of Fame, University of Kentucky; "A Pledge of Service," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/28/03, Final Ed., p. B1; and KET's "Connections with Renee Shaw" - #315: Pamela Goodwine.

See photo imge of Judge Pamela Goodwine and additional information at University of Kentucky Gatton College website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Youngstown, Ohio / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Harper, Nathaniel R.
Birth Year : 1846
Death Year : 1921
One of the first two African Americans to practice law in the Louisville courts, Nathaniel R. Harper was the first African American judge in Kentucky. He established the Harper Law School in his office. Nathaniel R. Harper was born in Indiana, the son of Hezekiah and Susan Harper who was born in 1828 in Kentucky. The family lived in Centre Township in Indianapolis, IN, and according to the 1850 U.S. Federal Census, they were free and the family was supported by Hezekiah who was a blacksmith. Nathaniel was married to Maria [or Mariah] Harper, born 1851 in Pennsylvania. Kentucky Governor W. O. Bradley appointed Nathaniel Harper a member of the State Industrial Bureau. He was to investigate, organize, and encourage members of his race toward industrial ventures. Harper traveled the state assisting in the establishment of industrial societies. In 1872, Harper was co-founder of the newspaper Louisville Weekly Planet. Harper was owner of the Tallaboo Dramatic Company, and in 1912 the company was touring central Kentucky. For more see Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000 [electronic version available on UK campus and off campus via the proxy]; The Owl: The Newsletter for Employees of the University of Louisville, vol. 17, issue 1 (February 2002), p. 2; "Kentucky's Negro Lawyers," New York Times, 11/28/1871, p. 5; The Commercial history of the Southern States by Lipscomb and Johnston; and see the paragraph "Lawyer N. R. Harper's "Tallaboo"..., within the column "At Kentucky's Capital" in Freeman, 06/01/1912, p.4.

See photo image of Nathaniel R. Harper at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Blacksmiths, Migration South, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Hueston, William C., Sr.
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1961
Hueston was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Bettie H. Treacy; his family later moved to Kansas City, Kansas. He was a graduate of the University of Kansas and an active community leader in Kansas City. He also lived part-time in Gary, Indiana. He served as president of the National Negro Baseball League, beginning in 1927, after Rube Foster was committed to the Kankakee Asylum in Illinois. In Gary, Indiana, Hueston served as magistrate judge and helped establish the African American-owned Central State Bank. He was appointed by President Hoover to the National Memorial Commission for the building of the National Museum of African American History and Culture that was to have been built in 1929. He left Indiana in 1930 for Washington, D.C. to become Assistant Solicitor with the U.S. Post Office. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; The Josh Gibson Foundation website; Take up the Black Man's Burden: Kansas City's African American Communities, 1865-1939, by C. E. Coulter; M. Strimbu, "Library exhibit depicts Gary's rich, varied history," Post-Tribune, 07/24/1997, Gary Neighbors section, p. NB4; and "William C. Hueston, 81, Government Attorney," Washington Post, 11/27/1961, City Life section.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Baseball, Civic Leaders, Lawyers, Migration North, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Postal Service, Judges, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Kansas City, Kansas / Gary, Indiana / Kankakee, Illinois / Washington, D.C.

Jones, Charles W.
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1957
Born in Barbourville, KY, Charles Wesley Jones was a lawyer who moved to Detroit, Michigan. He ran for the Michigan State Senate in 1932 and was defeated. In 1952 he was a U.S. Representative candidate but was defeated in the primary. Jones was the first African American judge in Michigan appointed to Recorder's Court. For more see The Political Graveyard, Black Politicians in Kentucky; and the date July 29, 1950 on the Detroit African American History Project website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges
Geographic Region: Barbourville, Knox County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Lunderman, Charles J., Jr.
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 1973
The following information was submitted by Mrs. Juanita L. White of Louisville, KY:

Charles J. Lunderman, Jr. was an attorney and judge in Louisville, KY. He was one of the three founders of an early Black law firm that included his partners Benjamin Shobe and Haywood Banks. Lunderman, Jr. was the first African American lawyer in the legal department of the City of Louisville. He was also appointed a Jefferson County Quarterly Judge by Louisville Mayor William O. Cowger, serving from 1961-1965. He also served as president of the Louisville Branch of the NAACP and helped integrate the city swimming pools and Jefferson County Schools. Lunderman, Jr. was a member of the Jefferson County Clean Air Committee that was formed by residents of the West End and Shively to fight an industrial plant that was daily pumping 11 tons of dust into the air surrounding the communities. Charles J. Lunderman, Jr. was born in Paducah, KY, the son of Charles, Sr. and Loretta C. Bacon Lunderman Spencer Randolph. He was the husband of Mrs. Belma Lunderman McClaskey. Charles J. Lunderman, Jr. attended Kentucky State University and earned his law degree at Lincoln University in Missouri. He was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Army.

References:


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Judges
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Martin, Janice R.
Birth Year : 1956
From Morganfield, KY, Janice R. Martin, at the age of 35 became the first elected African American woman judge in Kentucky, in 1991. She earned her undergraduate degree and law degree from the University of Louisville; she was the only African American female in the Class of 1977. Martin was also the first African American woman to serve as bar counsel for the Kentucky Bar Association.  She was selected by Gov. Brereton Jones to fill the District Court vacancy left by Judge Steven Mershon. She was then elected to the position in 1993, and retired in 2009. For more see Black Firsts, by J. C. Smith; Who's Who Among African Americans, 8th-13th editions; Y. D. Coleman, "Kentucky's first Black female judge appointed," The Louisville Defender, 03/12/1992, pp. 1 and 4;  "Janice Martin installed as first Black woman judge in Kentucky," Jet, 02/01/1993; and M. Williams, "The Honorable Janice Martin," Who's Who in Black Louisville, 3rd ed., p.69.

See photo image and additional information about Janice R. Martin in "Judge Janice R. Martin receives Gender Equity Award," The Women's Center News, Winter 2006, v.14, issue 2, p.1 [.pdf].
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Morganfield, Union County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

May, James Shelby, Sr.
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 1993
May was born in Louisville, KY, son of Shelby and Arlee Taylor May. He was a graduate of Cornell University and Yale Law School. May, a Marine Corps veteran, had been a Marine Corps judge advocate. He had served in many capacities, including as a felony trial judge and an appellate judge. In 1981, May became the first African American appointed to the Navy-Marine Corps court of Military Review, which is the highest criminal appellate court of the U.S. Navy Department. After his retirement in 1989, May was an assistant professor at the University of Baltimore Law School. For more see James Shelby May in "Obituaries" of the Washington Post, 02/22/1993, Metro section, p. C4; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Judges
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Bethesda, Maryland

McAnulty, William E., Jr.
Birth Year : 1947
Death Year : 2007
William E. McAnulty, born in Indianapolis, IN, became a judge with the Jefferson County (KY) Juvenile Court in 1975. By winning the 1977 election (which was his first campaign), McAnulty became the first African American judge to serve on the Louisville (KY) District Court. In 1998 McAnulty was elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. In 2005, he became the first African American justice to serve on the Kentucky Supreme Court. McAnulty was appointed by Governor Fletcher to replace Justice Martin Johnstone, who retired in June, 2005. Justice William E. McAnulty, Jr. was elected to the Kentucky Supreme Court in 2006. He resigned in 2007 due to illness. For more see "Kentucky's first black sheriff one of six black county officials," in the 1982 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, 6th Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 19; R. Alford, "Kentucky gets 1st black justice," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/29/06, City/Region section, p. B1; A. Wolfson "Kentucky Supreme Court; McAnulty beats Shake to keep seat," Courier-Journal, 11/08/2006, News section, p. 5K; A. Wolfson, "McAnulty leaving Supreme Court," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 08/10/2007, News section, p. 1A; and "Special Tribute to the Honorable William E. McAnulty Jr." in Who's Who in Black Louisville, 2nd ed., pp.41-46.

See photo image and additional information about William E. McAnulty in "Alumni Profile" by A. D. White in UL: University of Louisville Magazine, Winter 2007, v.25. no.1.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Indianapolis, Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Payne, Gary D.
Birth Year : 1948
Born in Paducah, KY, Payne attended Lincoln Institute, Pepperdine University, and earned his law degree from the University of Kentucky in 1978. In 1988, he became the first African American judge in Fayette County. Payne is the son of Sara Cooper Payne and William J. Payne. He is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. For more see Black Firsts, by J. C. Smith; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 7th-13th editions.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Priest, James M.
Death Year : 1883
James M. Priest was the slave of Jane Anderson Meaux. Jane A. Meaux was born 1780 in St. Asaph [later Fort Logan], Lincoln County, District of KY, and died in Jessamine County, KY, in 1844. Prior to her death, she educated and freed one of her slaves, James Priest. She sent Priest to Liberia, Africa, to evaluate the situation of the former slaves. When he returned, Priest was sent to school, 1840-1843; he graduated to become an ordained Presbyterian minister. He returned to Liberia and was the first foreign missionary from McCormick Theological Seminary at New Albany [Indiana]. Priest would become the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, 1864-1868. He was serving as the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia when he died in July of 1883. Jane Anderson Meaux stipulated in her will that all of her slaves were to be freed under the condition that they go to live in Liberia. For more see p.205 of History of Kentucky, edited by C. Kerr et al.; p.9 of A History of the McCormick Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church, by L. J. Halsey; pp.562-63 of Maxwell History and Genealogy, by F. A. W. Houston et al. [all available full-text at Google Book Search]; see Settlers to Liberia "April 1843" at The Ships List website; and "The death of James M. Priest...," Arkansaw Dispatch, 07/28/1883, p.2. A daguerreotype portrait [online] of Priest is available at the Library of Congress.


Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Religion & Church Work, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Judges, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Saint Asaph [Stanford], Lincoln County, Kentucky / Jessamine County, Kentucky / Liberia, Africa

Reynolds, Sadiqa N.
Birth Year : 1962
Sediqua N. Reynolds was the first African American woman to clerk for the Kentucky Supreme Court, she served as the chief law clerk for Chief Justice Robert F. Stephens. She also had a private law practice for several years, and in January 2008, Reynolds was named inspector general with the Louisville Metro Government. Her duties included annual reviews and investigating complaints against nursing homes and state-run institutions. August 2009, Reynolds was sworn in as Jefferson County District Judge of the 30th Judicial District, Division 11. Her appointment was made by Governor Steve Beshear; she replaced Judge Matthew K. Eckert, who resigned. Reynolds earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Louisville and her law degree from the University of Kentucky. She was born in Newy York, and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta. For more see B. Musgrave, "2 lawyers get Health Cabinet jobs, both have backgrounds in public health," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/09/2008, City&Region section, p.D2; Sadiqa N. Reynolds in Who's Who in Black Louisville, Inaugural Edition, p.123; "Governor Beshear announces landmark judicial appointments," Press Release, 07/01/2009, Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office [online].

See "Meet the Judge: Sadiqua N. Reynolds" on YouTube.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations, Judges
Geographic Region: New York / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Sargent, Nathaniel
Birth Year : 1863
Death Year : 1954
Nathaniel Sargent, a slave born in Kentucky, was raised by a white family in the North. He was a graduate of the University of Illinois. Sargent came to Kitsap County, Washington, in 1882. He worked as a logger, and later became a rancher with about 250 acres of land. Sargent was an artist who created oil paintings, and he was also a writer. In 1897, he was elected the first African American Justice of the Peace for Seabeck, Washington. For more see "Justice of the Peace for Seabeck - 1897" in Northwest Black Pioneers: a centennial tribute, by R. Hayes; and the Black Historical Society of Kitsap County, Inc.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Migration North, Migration West, Judges
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Seabeck, Kitsap County, Washington

Shobe, Benjamin F.
Birth Year : 1920
Born in Bowling Green, KY, Benjamine F. Shobe was a civil rights attorney who served as a counselor to Lyman T. Johnson in the lawsuit that forced the University of Kentucky to integrate. Shobe was also hired by the NAACP as an attorney in Sweeny v. The City of Louisville, which was pursued to open public accommodations. He was the first elected city police judge in Louisville, KY, in 1976 and retired from the bench in 1992. He was a graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and the University of Michigan Law School. Shobe was also a recipient of Anderson-Mayer Funds. He is a member of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights' Great Black Kentuckians. He was the son of W. L. Shobe , who was principal of Lynch West Main High School, 1939-1956. For more see The American Bench. Judges of the nation, 2nd ed., ed. by M. Reincke and N. Lichterman; and Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.

  See photo image of Benjamin F. Shobe and additional information at the Great Black Kentuckians website by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Judges, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Stevens, Oluwole A. "Olu"
Birth Year : 1970
Louisville Judge Olu Stevens is the presiding Judge in the 30th Judicial Circuit, Division 6.  He had been a prosecutor with the Jefferson County Attorney's Office; he was in private practice for ten years; and was with the firm Stoll Keenon and Ogden. Stevens is a graduate of Morehouse College and George Washington University Law School. He is a past president of the Louisville Bar Association and a past president of the Louisville Bar Foundation. In 2009, Olu Stevens was one of three African American judges who received appointments from Kenucky Governor Steve Beshear; Stevens was appointed a circuit judge in Jefferson County. The other two appointments went to Sadiqua Reynolds and Erica Lee Williams, both were district judges [source: Wolfson, A. "Governor appoints three Black judges," Louisville Courier-Journal, 07/01/2009, News section]. In 2010, Judge Stevens was one of three African American judges to be elected in Jefferson County, and he retained his circuit court judgeship, defeating Thomas J. Cannon, garnering 60% of the votes [source: J. Riley, "3 African-American appointees elected," Louisville Courier-Journal, 11/03/2010, p.K8, News section]. The other election winners were District Judge Brian C. Edwards in Division 11, who had also received an appointment from Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear in 2009, and District Judge Erica Lee Williams in Division 17.  

 

  See photo image and additional information at the Judge Olu Stevens website.  
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Sumner, Thomas R.
Birth Year : 1949
Born in Louisville, KY, Sumner is a graduate of the University of Illinois and John Marshall Law School. Since 1988, he has been an associate judge in the Illinois Circuit Court. Sumner was a trial attorney with the Cook County Public Defenders Office from 1978-1982 and was a partner with Sumner and Smith from 1982-1988. He was president of the more than 700 member Cook County Bar Association. For more see L. Sweet, "Orbach, 12 others appointed judges," Chicago Sun-Times, 06/04/1988, News section, p. 14; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1980-2006.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North, Judges
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Cook County, Illinois

Vaughn, George L.
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1950
George L. Vaughn was born in Kentucky, where he attend both elementary and high school. He was a graduate of Lane College and Walden University Law School [located in Tennessee, closed in 1925], and was later a 1st Lieutenant in the Artillery during World War I. Vaughn moved to St. Louis, where he practiced law and in 1916 became the first president of the Mound City Bar Association, a bar association for African American lawyers; the St. Louis Bar Association did not admit African Americans. In 1919, Vaughn helped found the Citizen Liberty League to help identify and elect more African Americans to public office. In 1936, Vaughn was appointed Justice of the Peace for the 4th District of St. Louis. Vaughn is most remembered for taking on the Shelley Restrictive Covenant Case, a landmark civil rights case involving J. D. Shelley, an African American who had purchased a home in a white neighborhood in 1945. The neighborhood association served Shelley with an eviction notice, and the St. Louis African American real estate brokers association hired Vaughn to fight the notice. Vaughn won the trial, but the case was then taken to the Missouri Supreme Court, which upheld the eviction. With the support of the real estate brokers association, Vaughn appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, and in 1948 the Supreme Court ruled in Shelley's favor. In 1957 the 660-unit George L. Vaughn Public Housing Project was named in Vaughn's honor. For more see "George Vaughn," in The Journal of Negro History, vol. 34, issue 4, (Oct., 1949), pp. 490-491; Lift Every Voice and Sing, by D. A. Wesley, W. Price and A. Morris; and "George L. Vaughn," in West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edited by S. Phelps and J. Lehman, vol. 10, 2nd edition. See the U.S. Supreme Court, Shelley V. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1 (1948), at the FindLaw website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Housing Authority, The Projects, Lawyers, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Judges, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Court Cases, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Kentucky / St. Louis, Missiouri

Wallace, Theodore Calvin, Jr. "Ted"
Birth Year : 1941
Death Year : 2006
Judge Theodore C. Wallace, Jr. was born in Kimball, WV, and grew up in Lexington, KY. He was the son of Theodore "Cal" Sr. and Bonnie Goddard Wallace. Judge Wallace was known as Ted. He left Kentucky and eventually settled in Detroit, MI, in 1973, where he served as judge of the 36th District Court for seven years. He had been a member of the Michigan House of Representatives beginning in 1988 when he won a special election to fill the last two months of Representative Virgil Smith's term. Rep. Wallace was then elected to the House of Representatives and served for 10 years. He was also a member of the Michigan Law Revision Commission beginning in 1993. Ted Wallace had a law practice for 17 years. He was a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and earned his undergraduate degree from Wright State University. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and served in Vietnam, and he served in the Michigan National Guard. For more see E. Lacy, "Confident, easy going judge was a joker, but took care of business," The Detroit News, 01/24/2006; and W. R. Knox, "Michigan House of Representatives: new members," Public Sector Reports, 01/27/1989, pp.1-2.

For more about the Wallace Family in Lexington, KY, the oral history recording by Thomas C. Wallace, brother to Judge Ted Wallace, is available within the Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project at the University of Kentucky Libraries' Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. See also the oral history recordings for Cal Wallace and Edgar Wallace. See also the NKAA entries for Thomas C. Wallace and Leula Wallace Hall.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Migration East, Judges, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Kimball, West Virginia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

White, Paul Dunbar
Birth Year : 1917
Death Year : 1997
White, a minister, was born in LaGrange, KY, the son of Reverend Isham H. White and Florence Harris White. In 1963, Paul D. White was the first African American judge elected [never appointed] to the Cleveland Municipal Court. He also served as Director of Law in Cleveland when he was hired in 1967 by Carl B. Stokes, the first African American mayor of a major city in the U.S. In 1968, White became the first African American lawyer in a major Cleveland firm, Baker & Hostetler, and was made partner in 1970. The firm established the Paul D. White Scholarship in 1997. Paul D. White was a 1940 graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], where he played on the championship football team as a fullback, then later played professionally for one season in Indianapolis. White was also a 1950 graduate of Western Reserve Law School [now Case Western Reserve University, School of Law] and following his graduation, was hired by Kentucky native and Cleveland attorney Jean Capers. For more see The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History [online], sponsored by Case Western Reserve University and the Western Reserve Historical Society; and the The Plain Dealer articles - - R. M. Peery, "Paul Dunbar White, 79, Judge, City Law Director," 09/26/1997, Obituaries, p. 11B, and P. Morris, "The judge inspired, but he never knew," 09/30/1997, Editorials & Forum section, p. 9B.
Subjects: Football, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Judges
Geographic Region: La Grange, Oldham County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio

Williams, Aubrey
Birth Year : 1945
Willliams was a member of the Kentucky General Assembly from 1978-1985, the elected Representative of the 42nd District (Jefferson County). He is an attorney, a graduate of the University of Louisville Law School. Williams also attended Case Western Reserve University; Sue Bennett College [closed in 1997], where he earned his A.A.; and Pikeville College, where he earned his B.S. He also served as a judge with the Jefferson County 3rd Magisterial District. For more contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission and see Who's Who in American Law, 1st-3rd editions, and Who's Who Among Black Americans, 2nd & 3rd editions.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Williams, Erica Lee
Birth Year : 1977
Judge Erica Lee Williams is a district court judge in Louisville, KY, division 17. She was first appointed a judge in 2009 by Kentucky Governor Steve Breshear, and in 2010, Judge Williams defeated A. Christian Ward by about 200 votes to retain her judgeship [source: J. Riley, "3 African-American appointees elected," Louisville Courier-Journal, 11/03/2010, p.K.8, News section]. Judge Williams is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky Law School [source: M. Fernandez, "STYLEMAKER; The accent's on smile," Louisville Courier-Journal, 11/28/2009, p.S.4].

 

  See photo image and additional information about Judge Erica Lee Williams at Business First website.

 
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

 

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