About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

18 Geo. Mason U. C.R. L.J. 51 (2007-2008)
Truth Matters: A Call for the American Bar Association to Acknowledge Its Past and Make Reparations to African Descendants

handle is hein.journals/gmcvr18 and id is 57 raw text is: TRUTH MATTERS:
A CALL FOR THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION TO ACKNOWLEDGE
ITS PAST AND MAKE REPARATIONS TO AFRICAN DESCENDANTS
by Adjoa Artis Aiyetoro*
Look truth straight in the eye and consider remembering as a moral
obligation.1
INTRODUCTION
As the leading national bar association in the United States since
its founding in 1878, the American Bar Association (ABA) played a
critically important role in the exclusion of African descendant attor-
neys2 from the legal profession. Membership in the ABA opened and
continues to open doors for lawyers climbing the ladder of success in
the legal profession. The ABA's exclusionary policies and practices
enabled a few lawyers ... to legislate for the entire profession and to
speak for the bar on issues of professional and public consequence.'
* Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) William
H. Bowen School of Law. I appreciate the scholarship grant provided by the UALR Bowen
School of Law that supported production of this article. I also appreciate the able and generous
assistance of UALR faculty members Terri M. Beiner, Lynn C. Foster, Kenneth S. Gallant, and
Lindsey P. Gustafson, and Prof. Mitchell F. Crusto, Loyola University School of Law (New Orle-
ans), in reading drafts of this article and providing valuable feedback. I also appreciate the
research assistance provided by Rachel Patrick, Staff Director, ABA Council on Racial & Ethnic
Justice, Kathryn C. Fitzhugh, UALR Professor of Law Librarianship-Reference/Special Collec-
tions Librarian, Rejena Saulsberry and Elliot Milner, UALR law students and Wautella Graham
and Kibibi Tyehimba, N'COBRA Chair of Public Information and National Co-Chair, respec-
tively. Most importantly, I appreciate the strength and courage of those on whose shoulders I
stand. Their spirit voices are sources of encouragement and inspiration.
1 AARON LAZARE, ON APOLOGY 253 (Oxford Univ. Press 2004).
2 The term African descendant attorneys describes what some call Black attorneys and
others call African-American attorneys. This term is being used for two primary reasons: (1)
it bridges the gap between 1844 and 1868 when the Fourteenth Amendment was passed, making
formerly enslaved African descendants and their progeny citizens of the United States; and (2)
some African descendants do not embrace the African-American identity because of African
enslavement and the exclusionary policies and practices within the colonies and the United
States, some of which are discussed in this article.
3 JEROLD S. AUERBACH, UNEQUAL JUSTICE: LAWYERS AND SOCIAL CHANGE IN MODERN
AMERICAN (Oxford Univ. Press 1976).

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing nearly 3,000 academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most