Justice Older than the Law: The Life of Dovey Johnson Roundtree

Justice Older than the Law: The Life of Dovey Johnson Roundtree

by Katie McCabe, Dovey Johnson Roundtree

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The autobiography of a groundbreaking civil rights crusader, lawyer, and ordained ministerSee more details below


The autobiography of a groundbreaking civil rights crusader, lawyer, and ordained minister

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Dovey Roundtree is my hero. As a young public defender, I watched with amazement her great work in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Knowing what she has overcome and her amazing accomplishments as not only a graduate of Spelman College and Howard Law School, but also as a superb lawyer, I am convinced that her story will be comforting to anyone facing obstacles. This is not only a great read, but a must read. I recommend it to anyone thinking about justice or trying to find ways to overcome challenges they face."

--Charles J. Ogletree, Jesse Climenko Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, founding and executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice, and author of Without Parole: America New Death Penalty

"I simply loved this book. I have a proclivity for fiction and find the character "Dovey" a real, heartfelt woman whose humble beginnings reflect the progress of the race from the 1920s to the 1960s. Her matriculation at Spelman, her internal conflict entering the "middle class," mentoring by Mary McLeod Bethune, all humanize the raw emotions thousands of early twentieth-century achievers must have encountered with living the dreams of the entire African American community. Kudos in crafting an engaging read from the well-lived life of minister, lawyer, military and humanitarian Dovey. Amazing story."

--Citation of the judges, 2009 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize, Association of Black Women Historians

"Justice Older than the Law moved me at times to tears. Dovey Roundtree's nobility, the courage and effectiveness of her work, are enough to restore one's hope for the human race. The book, though it describes an era that is past, is above all a study of something that doesn't change much---human character and its possibilities."

--Time magazine essayist Lance Morrow

"In Justice Older Than the Law: The Life of Dovey Johnson Roundtree we meet the pioneering lawyer and minister who was among the first black female World War II military officers. We learn how she prevailed in a desegregation case that ended 'separate but equal' interstate bus travel and won acquittal for a slow-witted black man accused of murdering a mistress of John F. Kennedy.

"But the new book also manages to immerse readers in Roundtree's life, creating a real sense of what it was like to live as a black person in segregated Charlotte and the Jim Crow South. Often, the narrative reads like a work of fiction. McCabe accomplishes this partly by writing in Roundtree's first-person voice. 'I became more and more convinced, if my goal was to get her soul and her spirit across to people, that could only be done with her voice,' McCabe says.

"To mark the book's publication, first lady Michelle Obama has written a letter of tribute. 'It is on the shoulders of people like Dovey Johnson Roundtree that we stand today,' the first lady writes, 'and it is with her commitment to our core ideals that we will continue moving toward a better tomorrow.'"

--Charlotte Observer

"Dovey Johnson Roundtree and Katie McCabe invite you to enter a home, sit down in the 'Living Room of a Black American Family,' to visit with them for a little while. You will learn so very much about determination, values, courage, manners, and the moral strength of this family. The experience will enhance your appreciation for the struggles and achievements against the odds, and the meanness of stereotypes. And you will observe the beauty and grace of honest efforts toward good and useful lives. You will see and learn American history and human history at its best."

--Dr. Walter J. Leonard, former president of Fisk University and founding committee chair of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University

"To read how Dovey Roundtree struggled to help others and to make a difference in our world is exalting. This book tells what one determined, unstoppable woman did with her life to change laws and traditions to make America a better, fairer, and more respectful country. It gives us another view of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Justice Thurgood Marshall, and other historic icons through her interaction with them. Katie McCabe has done a formidable job of entering Dovey's mind, memory, and soul to produce this first-person account of a woman of our history whose virtues we should enshrine on a pedestal of honor."

--Brig. Gen. Wilma L. Vaught, USAF (Ret.), President, Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation

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Product Details

University Press of Mississippi
Publication date:
Margaret Walker Alexander Series in African American Studies
Product dimensions:
5.95(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.72(d)

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