1925 August 1

African-American Lawyers Form National Bar Association


African-American lawyers, meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, on this day organized the National Bar Association. At the time, African-Americans were denied admission to the American Bar Association (ABA), the principal professional association of lawyers in the U.S. The ABA had admitted at least one African American early in the Twentieth Century, but he was expelled in March 1912, in the context of rising racism in America during those years.

A number of white lawyers refused to join the ABA over the years because it did not admit African-Americans. ACLU General Counsel Arthur Garfield Hays, for example, quit the ABA on April 8, 1943 because of its exclusionary policy. The National Lawyers Guild was organized on February 2, 1937 as a liberal-left professional association for lawyers with a policy of admitting African-Americans.

The ABA finally admitted African-Americans on August 27, 1943.

Learn more about African-American lawyers: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/national-bar-association-1925

Learn more about African American history: Henry Louis Gates, Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008 (2011)

Find a Day

Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps


Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!