African American History Month Event Focuses on Judge Motley

NHPS middle and high schools students, along with their teachers had two opportunities in February to hear speaker, Dr. Gary Ford Jr, author and assistant professor of Africana studies at Lehman College in New York City.  Dr. Ford met with students at the Floyd Little Athletic Center on February 9 and February 13 as part of a series of planned events in commemoration of African American History month.  The lecture-styled presentation entitled, “Writing Constance Baker Motley into Historical Narratives of the Civil Rights Movement” guided students through a viewing of a digital documentary on the life of the civil rights activist followed by a QA session and student discussion of Ford’s recently released book, “Constance Baker Motley, One Woman’s Fight for Civil Rights and Equal Justice under Law.”  Students were highly engaged and particularly inspired from hearing about the history of the late Judge Motley who is a native of New Haven, graduated from a New Haven public high school and is recognized for her work as a civil rights lawyer writing briefs and arguing cases such as Brown v. Board of Education and Meredith v. Fair.

Dr. Ford earned a Bachelor of Arts in African American history from Harvard University, a law degree from Columbia University, a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the New School and a Ph.D. in American studies from the University of Maryland.

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