Politicians, Constance Baker Motley

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Hello from Wonder Media Network I'm Jenny Kaplan and this is encyclopedia Britannica. Today's politicians but most of her life fighting for civil rights, she put her life at risk to change the course of American history, but she's often left out of history books. Let's talk about Constance Baker Motley. Constance Baker Motley was born on September fourteenth nineteen, forty one in new haven connecticut she was one of twelve children born to working class immigrant parents from the West indies. Constance. Was a bright child who grew up attending integrated schools and quickly fell in love with reading. She didn't learn much about black history in school. But what she did learn about civil rights leaders inspired her she decided she wanted to become a lawyer, but constance couldn't afford higher education. She took a job as a maid for a while before moving on to work for the National Youth Administration an organization focused on providing work an educational opportunities for young adults. Constance was giving a speech at a local community center one evening when her oratory skills impressed a wealthy white philanthropist. He, offered to pay for constants college tuition. So in nineteen, forty, one constance began attending college at Fisk University in Nashville. She later wrote that the train ride down to Tennessee was the first time she experienced overt racism and Jim Crow laws after being forced to ride in a broken down segregated train car, it was a perspective changing moment for constance two years into her attendance at Fisk Constance transferred to New York University and finished her bachelor's degree in economics. Then in nineteen, forty, four constance became the first black woman to be accepted to Columbia law school. After graduating from Columbia in nineteen, forty, six constants worked for the NWC peas legal staff under Thurgood. Marshall who later became a court justice over the course of her work at the N. double ACP constance assisted with almost sixty cases that ended up reaching the Supreme Court. She also personally argued ten supreme court cases and one nine. Constance is work integrated multiple southern state universities putting her toe-to-toe with racist governors determined to bar black students from schools. She also helped protect the right to peaceful protests and opened up parks for. Black. Americans. She did all that despite the sexism and racism personally experienced during her legal career. Some judges actually turned their backs on her and refused to hear her speak. But Constance didn't let others biopsies bar her from success. Her work made her a key player in the civil rights movement and she even occasionally represented Dr. Martin? Luther. King Junior. Constance was constantly in danger when she was working in the south racists threatened her life and the lives of other prominent figures in the black community constance was barred from staying in hotels. So she had to stay with local activists, but even that didn't make her feel completely safe her friend Mississippi civil rights leader Medgar. Evers. was murdered his own driveway. So in nineteen, sixty, five constance left her work in the south and moved back to New York City. Shortly thereafter, she became the first black woman to serve in the New York State Senate. She was also elected president of the borough of Manhattan which made her the first woman in that role. During her time as a politician constance focused on raising up under served communities in the city like Harlem and East Harlem in nineteen sixty, six president Lyndon Johnson appointed constance to the US. District Court in the southern district

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