I want to step back into the faculty lounge to say that I am particularly excited to be giving the J. Alston Atkins lecture at Winston-Salem State University next Tuesday at 3:30. I'll be speaking about "Reading the Great Constitutional Dream Book: African American Intellectuals and the Road to Brown." This is a project I've been working on, on and off, for many years -- and one that I'm hoping to bring to a conclusion sooner rather than later.
A lot of this will focus on the ideas of equality and its growing significance in the wake of World War I. And I will probably wrap some of the NAACP's anti-lynching brief (for which Karl Llewellyn wrote the foreword) into this. I will certainly talk about the Jess Hollins case, in honor of "anon," who pushed me to explore that case much more than I had before. Atkins (who had been a lawyer in Muskogee, Oklahoma before moving to Houston, Texas) was excited by Charles Hamilton Houston's role in the Hollins case.
If you have occasion to be around Winston-Salem next Tuesday, I hope you'll join us!
One other observation -- yet another of the unexpected outdoing itself in its power to surprise -- is that J. Alston Adkins was an editor of the Yale Law Journal when it published Allen Johnson's critique of the abolitionist attack on the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. How I wish I could hear what he thought of it -- I'm guessing not much. But then again I'd much rather he what he thought of DuBois and also his career as an editor of the Texas Freeman.