Steven A. Levine
Coordinator for Educational Programs
In celebration of African-American History Month, the La Guardia and Wagner Archives is featuring a video of Joel Motley, discussing the nomination of his mother, civil rights attorney Constance Baker Motley to the federal district court by President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Find out why Senator Robert F. Kennedy planned to nominate her, but then withdrew his support because of a conflict in the Democratic Party about who would control the New York State Legislature. Motley, who won 9 of 10 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, was an ally of Mayor Robert F. Wagner and had been serving as a New York State Senator and Manhattan Borough President before she became the first African-American women to serve as a federal judge.
The Archives has developed related civil rights materials including a web page Black Suffrage and the Struggle for Civil Rights and two lessons Jim Crow and Voting Rights and Mississippi Freedom Summer 1964.