She Took Justice : The Black Woman, Law, and Power – 1619 to 1969 book cover
1st Edition

She Took Justice
The Black Woman, Law, and Power – 1619 to 1969

ISBN 9780367482190
Published November 30, 2020 by Routledge
308 Pages

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Book Description

She Took Justice: The Black Woman, Law, and Power – 1619 to 1969 proves that The Black Woman liberated herself. Readers go on a journey from the invasion of Africa into the Colonial period and the Civil Rights Movement. The Black Woman reveals power, from Queen Nzingha to Shirley Chisholm.

In She Took Justice, we see centuries of courage in the face of racial prejudice and gender oppression. We gain insight into American history through The Black Woman's fight against race laws, especially criminal injustice. She became an organizer, leader, activist, lawyer, and judge – a fighter in her own advancement.

These engaging true stories show that, for most of American history, the law was an enemy to The Black Woman. Using perseverance, tenacity, intelligence, and faith, she turned the law into a weapon to combat discrimination, a prestigious occupation, and a platform from which she could lift others as she rose. This is a book for every reader.

Table of Contents


Timeline of Selected Cases and Events


1. We Were Queens

2. Her Bondage

3. Trials and Tribulations

4. Female Fugitives

5. Slaves in Court

6. Segregated Freedom

7. Lynched, Raped, and Violated

8. Her Mind Matters

9. Politics of Freedom

10. A Force for Good

11. She Is an Activist

12. Sankofa

Table of Cases



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Gloria J. Browne-Marshall is a writer, civil rights attorney, playwright, and Professor of Constitutional Law at John Jay College (CUNY). Gloria taught in the Africana Studies Program at Vassar College. Prior to academia, she litigated cases for the Southern Poverty Law Center, Community Legal Services, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Inc. She is the author of Race, Law, and American Society: 1607 to Present, The Voting Rights War, and The Constitution: Major Cases and Conflicts. Gloria is the recipient of a Pulitzer Center Grant and Frederick Lewis Allen Fellowship.


Vividly written and profoundly researched, Gloria Browne-Marshall has gifted us with the lives of bold brilliant women of African descent who fought for freedom, equality, dignity. This timely and riveting book is urgently needed, now!
Blanche Wiesen Cook, author, Eleanor Roosevelt, Vols I, II, III

Gloria Browne-Marshall has written a powerful primer for everyone in America who needs to know that Black women have never needed to be saved.
Khalil Gibran Muhammad, author, The Condemnation of Blackness. Professor of History, Race and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Browne-Marshall lifts the voices of these Black women so that the world may see the depths to which they have succumbed and the ground they have covered in their quest to liberate and advocate for social justice.
Brenda M. Greene, Professor of English and Founder/Executive Director of the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College (CUNY)

Scholar-Activist Gloria Browne-Marshall has done it again. She took Justice is a tour-de-force. These Black women, despite the racial and gender vagaries of their time, pursued justice at all cost, including the endangerment of their own lives.  
Shaun L. Gabbidon, Distinguished Professor of Criminal Justice, Penn State University-Harrisburg 

She Took Justice gives the world a new story told beautifully. It is a miraculous ride. This book provides substantial evidence that the Black Woman's power existed well beyond the confines of law or the traditional telling of American history.
Pamela Meanes, Past President of the National Bar Association and law partner Thompson Coburn, LLC