Briefcase

The 1st African-American Attorney in Texas

Guest: Dean Leonard Baynes

During Black History Month, it is important to celebrate the Lone Star state’s long history of diversity. Dean Leonard Baynes, with the University of Houston Law Center, tells the story of the first African-American Attorney in Texas.

“Well before Texas-born President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, William A. Price entered the ranks of Texas legal advocates.

Born in the South during slavery, Price moved to Texas in 1871 and was a trailblazer. He practiced law in Fort Bend and made history as the state’s first African-American lawyer.

Price’s legal journey led him to Kansas and a challenge to its segregated schools. He prevailed, in Knox v Board of Education, when the Kansas Supreme Court found no basis for excluding black children from white schools.

This case, brought by a pioneering Texas attorney, served as a foundation for Brown v Board of Education, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legally ended school segregation.” 

 

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