CSRRR News & Notes • University of Florida Levin College of Law, Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations • Winter 2019

Prof. Katheryn Russell-Brown, CSRRR Director

Greetings everyone,

We hope you enjoy our first online newsletter. It’s packed with information about upcoming events, recent campus and community collaborations, our scholarship on race, and notable books on race.

With the objective of fostering communities of dialogue, CSRRR embraces historically and empirically based thinking, talking, teaching and writing on race. To this end, the Center creates and supports programs designed to enhance race-related curriculum development for faculty, staff and students in collegiate and professional schools.

Please join us in our work.

CSRRR Director,

Prof. Katheryn Russell-Brown

Spring Lecture 2019

Judge Mark W. Bennett will give the CSRRR 2019 Spring Lecture. Judge Bennett’s talk, “Getting Explicit About Implicit Bias,” will address the ways the court system, particularly judges, can reduce the negative impact of implicit racial bias in their courtrooms. Judge Bennett was a U.S. District Court Judge in the Northern District of Iowa, from 1994 to 2019. He has written over 1,400 court opinions, 24 law review articles, and trained over 2,500 trial and appellate judges on implicit bias.

The talk will take place Thursday, March 14, 2019, at the UF Levin College of Law in the Chesterfield Smith Ceremonial Classroom, from 12:00 to 1:00 PM. Judge Bennett’s talk will be followed by a discussion with the audience and a reception.

Student Panel: Law Students Writing on Social Justice and Race

February 13, 2019 & February 27, 2019

12:00 – 1:00 PM, Levin College of Law, 355C Holland Hall

Join us as law students present papers they have written on a range of current topics related to race and social justice.

George Starke to Receive Honorary Degree

In 1958, George Starke was the first Black student admitted to the University of Florida. He enrolled at the law school and completed three semesters of course work. After leaving UF, he had a long and successful career in banking and energy. Last fall, sixty years after he desegregated UF, Mr. Starke was nominated for an honorary degree. The nomination was recommended and approved by the UF Faculty Senate and Board of Trustees. CSRRR is thrilled that Mr. Starke will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at UF’s Spring 2019 law school graduation. We greatly appreciate the guidance and support Mr. Starke has provided CSRRR over the years.

Mr. George Starke with Prof. Russell-Brown at the CSRRR 60th Anniversary event

Museum Nights at the Harn Museum

At the invitation of the Harn Museum, CSRRR co-sponsored Museum Nights at the Harn on January 10, 2019. The gathering of UF and local community members included a private viewing of the “I, Too, Am America,” photography exhibit by Steve Schapiro.

On February 24, 2019, at 3:00 pm, Diedre Houchen (CSRRR Postdoctoral Associate) will facilitate a community dialogue in conjunction with the exhibition. The dialogue is open to the public. Please join us!

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders, photograph from Harn Museum exhibition

On the Scholarship Road with CSRRR Director, Professor Russell-Brown

Last September, Prof. Russell-Brown was invited to participate in an international symposium of race and crime scholars. The conference, “Race Matters: A New Dialogue Between Criminology and Sociology,” was held at the Mannheim Centre for Criminology, London School of Economics, September 7-8, 2018. The conference organizers, professors Coretta Phillips, Alpa Parmar, and Rod Earle, invited 25 scholars to address concrete strategies for creating greater engagement between criminology and sociology around race, critique our understandings of multiple racisms, and foster an expanded international and interdisciplinary approach to race, ethnicity and crime.

The conference papers, including Professor Russell-Brown’s “The Art of Black Criminology,” are slated for publication in an academic journal later this year.

Race, Sociology, and Criminology conference attendees

Her recently published scholarship includes a book chapter, “Black Criminology in the 21st Century,” in Building a Black Criminology: Race, Theory and Crime, edited by James Unnever, Shaun Gabbidon, and Cecilia Chouhy (2019).

In 2018, Professor Russell-Brown’s journal article, “The Academic Swoon Around Implicit Racial Bias: Costs, Benefits, and Other Considerations" was published in the Du Bois Review (2018).

Virgil Hawkins’s Family Members Visit UF Law

Hawkins family relative with Harley Herman

On November 1, 2018, fifteen relatives of Virgil Hawkins—including cousins, nieces, and nephews—visited the UF law school. They toured the clinic that bears Hawkins’s name as well as the Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center exhibit, which highlights his desegregation efforts. The group was accompanied by Harley Herman (UFL’77), one of the people most knowledgeable about Hawkins’s life and legacy.

Relatives of Virgil Hawkins with Harley Herman

In 1949, Virgil Darnell Hawkins, a 42-year-old Black man, sought admission to UF’s law school. At that time, he was the Public Relations Director at Bethune-Cookman College. Mr. Hawkins met the qualifications for admission to the law school, however, because there was a state law that prohibited Blacks from being admitted, his application (along with those of five other Black students) was denied. Hawkins sued UF under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, arguing that his right to equal protection under the law had been violated. The Florida Supreme Court denied his claim and instead directed Florida to build a separate law school for Black students at Florida A&M University.

Hawkins’s lawsuit was the beginning of a nine-year legal journey, which included three more trips to the Florida Supreme Court and two trips to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1958, UF was ordered to desegregate. In exchange for Mr. Hawkins’s withdrawing his application, UF agreed to allow Blacks admission to all graduate and undergraduate programs.

On Black Educators in Florida: A Multi-Site Exhibition

In celebration of the 60th Anniversary of desegregation at UF, CSRRR partnered with the George A. Smathers Libraries, the Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center, and the A. Quinn Jones Museum & Cultural Center. The project, led by CSRRR Post-doc Diedre Houchen with co-curator Florence M. Turcotte (Smathers Libraries) resulted in a three-site exhibition showcasing Black educators who advanced social justice in the four decades preceding the Civil Rights Movement.

Each exhibit highlighted one aspect of this comprehensive story. The Smathers Library exhibit, “Black Educators: Florida’s Secret Social Justice Advocates (1920-1960),” focused on individuals and organizations, such as Virgil Hawkins, George Starke, Harry T. Moore, Edward Davis, the NAACP, and the Florida State Teachers Association, who fought for UF’s desegregation.

The Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center exhibit, “The Legacy of Virgil Hawkins: The Struggle for Equality at the University of Florida,” focuses on the desegregation of UF’s Law school.

The A. Quinn Jones Museum & Cultural Center exhibit, “Lincoln High School: A Metaphor for Excellence,” remains on view until July 31, 2019. Plan your visit today. This exhibit highlights the experience and impact of segregated Black institutions during Jim Crow through an exploration of Lincoln High School, an all-Black K-12 school in Gainesville, FL (1923-1960).

George Starke with Diedre Houchen at Smathers Library Exhibit Hall
Diedre Houchen at the A. Quinn Jones Museum & Cultural Center

Diedre Houchen

CSRRR Postdoctoral Associate, News and Noteworthy

Diedre Houchen, CSRRR’s inaugural post-doctorate associate, has been busy! In addition to coordinating the Race Center’s programming and activity, Dr. Houchen maintains a rigorous research and advocacy agenda. Most recently, her activities include research and presentations in two main areas: Black land and labor in Florida, and African American educational history and organizing.

In 2018, she presented her paper on Black land and labor, at the annual meeting of the African American Intellectual Society, in Waltham, MA. She also presented at the inaugural convening of “Black Communities: A Conference for Collaboration,” in Durham, NC. She was also invited to serve as a featured speaker at the “All Y’all Social Justice Series,” to discuss her research on Black educator organizing during Jim Crow.

Diedre Houchen speaking to conference attendees, All Y’all Social Justice Series, Jacksonville, FL

In 2018, Dr. Houchen was honored to be appointed to the Florida Commissioner of Education’s State Task Force on African American History.

Dr. Houchen was recently featured on UF’s Chief Diversity Officer, Antonio’s Farias’ podcast, Level Up. In the episode, she describes how she found joy, purpose and belonging as a community-based researcher at UF.

2018 Yegelwel Fellowship Recipient: Meredith Hammer

Meredith Hammer (UFL ’19), was awarded the 2018 Yegelwel Summer Fellowship. Ms. Hammer serves as the Editor in Chief of the UF Journal of Law & Public Policy. The Yegelwel Fellowship allows one UF law student to complete a summer fellowship at the Anti-Defamation League’s Florida Regional Office in Boca Raton. A generous gift from UF Law alumnus Evan Yegelwel, makes this fellowship possible.

Program Marks 60th Anniversary of Desegregation at UF

We held a wonderful tribute program to mark the sixty years since UF was desegregated. The program, “An Event to Remember: Commemorating 60 Years of Desegregation at UF,” featured an engaging line up of speakers, including George Starke, the first Black person admitted to UF, UF Law Dean Laura Rosenbury, Harley Herman (UFL ’77), Dr. Diedre Houchen, Angela Starke (Starke’s daughter-in-law), and CSRRR Director, Prof. Russell-Brown.

UF’s Chief Diversity Officer, Antonio Farias, moderated an insightful and thought-provoking panel discussion on race and desegregation with Prof. Theodore Shaw (UNC Law) and UF University Historian, Carl Van Ness.

Michael Farley (Development & Alumni Affairs) and Lorie Gleim (UFL ’95) introduced the Michael Moorhead Scholarship. Moorhead was UF Law’s first Black tenured and full professor. The event also featured moving insights and reflections by current UF students, Akil Reynolds (BSU President), Ana Mata (STAAR President), Courtney Handy (3L), Patrick Brathwaite (3L) Nikole Miller (1L), who discussed what it means to be part of Virgil Hawkins and George Starke’s legacy.

Diedre Houchen, Ted Shaw, Katheryn Russell Brown, Antonio Farias, and Laura Rosenbury

Levin College of Law Brochure Highlights 20 Years of Race Scholarship

In 2018, CSRRR celebrated its twentieth year anniversary! To mark the event, and the wonderful community of scholars working on race at the Law School, we produced a brochure noting our achievements and the body of work related to race.

New Books on Race

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittany Cooper (2018)

Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia by Meera E. Deo (2019)

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo (2018)

The Race of Sound: Listening, Timbre, and Vocality in African American Music by Nina Sun Eidsheim (2019)

Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side by Eve Ewing (2018)

Supreme Injustice: Slavery in the Nation’s Highest Court by Paul Finkelman (2018)

Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed Race Stories of Discrimination by Tanya Kateri Hernandez (2018)

A Perilous Path; Talking Race, Inequality, and the Law by Sherrilyn Ifill, Loretta Lynch, Bryan Stevenson, and Anthony Thompson (2018)

Doctrine and Race: African American Evangelicals and Fundamentalism Between the Wars by Mary Beth Swetnam Mathews (2018)

Children’s Books

Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendships by Irene Latham and Charles Waters (2018)

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (2018)

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (2018)

Under My Hijab by Hena Khan (2019)

Swing by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess (2018)

Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson & Ellen Hagan (2019)

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