In honor of Women's History Month, Greenwich Library is pleased to invite author Gary Ford, Jr. who will talk about his book, Constance Baker Motley: One Woman’s Fight for Civil Rights and Equal Justice Under Law,
and screen the Quinnipiac University documentary, Justice Is A Black Woman
. Both chronicle the life and work of Motley, a black woman who was born and raised in Connecticut and was an “unsung” hero of the Civil Rights movement. Both fill in holes in traditional narratives of the Civil Rights Movement and give Motley the proper credit she deserved for her work in the courts that affected the outcome of the movement and facilitated the dismantling of Jim Crow and a segregated society, and led to the adoption of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights legislation, and other significant legislation.
The book and the film center on Motley, the only woman attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) during most of the civil rights movement from 1946 - 1964 and the LDF attorney who tried and won most of the important desegregation cases. In addition to writing briefs in Brown v. Board of Education. Motley was trial or appellate counsel in 57 cases in the United States Supreme Court, 82 cases in federal courts of appeals, 48 cases in federal district courts, and numerous cases in state courts. She won cases that ended de jure segregation in white only schools, universities, colleges, restaurants, and lunch counters, museums, libraries, hotels, and public accommodations and she represented Martin Luther King, Jr., protected the right of protesters to march, sit-in, freedom ride, and demonstrate in other ways, and secured the right for blacks to register, vote, and have access to the political power structure.
The production team for the film included Michael Calia, director/producer, Susan Bailey, scriptwriter, and Gary Ford, Jr. who wrote his dissertation on and was also a producer.
Books will be available for sale and signing at the event. Advance copies of the book can also be purchased by contacting through Diane’s Books at 203-869-1515.
Dr. Gary L. Ford, Jr. obtained a B.A. cum laude, in African American Studies from Harvard University, a J.D. from Columbia University, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from The New School, and a Ph.D. in American Studies with a concentration in African American Studies from the University Of Maryland. He has been an Assistant Professor in the Africana Studies Department at Lehman College/City University of New York since 2016. He taught African American Studies as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Maryland.