"This biography sheds welcome light on the man who sat to the left of Martin Luther King at the 1963 March on Washington. Blakely's straightforward biography makes a meaningful contribution to African-American and Chicago history." Publishers Weekly
"[A] portrait of its subject so full and affecting that it makes Earl B. Dickerson rise from the page and extend his hand to make your acquaintance." Chicago Sun-Times
"Earl Dickerson is a household word at the University of Chicago Law School, where he was the first African American graduate and a standout as a student and an alumnus. Robert Blakely's book now shows a wider audience why Earl Dickerson's name is synonymous with courage, farsightedness, civil rights, and progressive pragmatism."
Saul Levmore, Dean and William B. Graham Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School
This biography sheds welcome light on the man who sat to the left of Martin Luther King at the 1963 March on Washington. The first black graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and the first black alderman elected to the Chicago City Council, Dickerson arrived in the Windy City at age 15, as a stowaway on the Illinois Central Railroad. Finding the racial situation in Chicago pretty similar to the one he'd left behind in Mississippi, Dickerson spent the rest of his long and active life working toward its improvement. A man of prodigious energy, he was known as the "Dean of Chicago's Black Lawyers" (most notably, arguing Hansberry v. Lee in 1940; a harbinger of the end of racially restrictive covenants) and also became president of one of the largest black-owned insurance companies in America. While Blakely details Dickerson's major political and business accomplishments, he adds dimension to the man's life and gives the reader a keen sense of the African-American social and cultural history through his attention to Dickerson's involvement in Chicago's South Side. Though pedestrian in its prose style, Blakely's straightforward biography makes a meaningful contribution to African-American and Chicago history. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.