Born in the hamlet of Mount Gilead, North Carolina, Julius Chambers
(1936–2013) escaped the fetters of the Jim Crow South to
emerge in the 1960s and 1970s as the nation's leading African
American civil rights attorney. Following passage of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, Chambers worked to advance the NAACP Legal
Defense Fund's strategic litigation campaign for civil rights,
ultimately winning landmark school and employment desegregation
cases at the U.S. Supreme Court. Undaunted by the dynamiting of his
home and the arson that destroyed the offices of his small
integrated law practice, Chambers pushed federal civil rights law
to its highwater mark.
In this biography, Richard A. Rosen and Joseph Mosnier connect the
details of Chambers's life to the wider struggle to secure racial
equality through the development of modern civil rights law.
Tracing his path from a dilapidated black elementary school to
counsel's lectern at the Supreme Court and beyond, they reveal
Chambers's singular influence on the evolution of federal civil
rights law after 1964.