Philadelphia’s Black Attorneys: Not Just Lawyers, But “Social Engineers”

Greater Philadelphia Roundtable:  How have African American lawyers transformed Philadelphia, inside and outside the courtroom?  How has their work contributed to local, national, and international movements for empowerment and civil rights?  This program takes its title from civil rights attorney Charles Hamilton Houston’s statement that “A lawyer is either a social engineer or a parasite on society.”  A capacity audience at the African American Museum in Philadelphia joined in a discussion of these and other issues with David A. Canton, author of the new biography Raymond Pace Alexander: A New Negro Lawyer Fights for Civil Rights in Philadelphia, and defense attorney Michael Coard, a founding member of Avenging The Ancestors Coalition (ATAC). The speakers and discussion will help to shape the future content of The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. Facilitator: Alexis Moore, Associate Director of External Affairs and Media Relations for the American Friends Service Committee and daughter of the late Cecil B. Moore, defense attorney and NAACP head during the 1960s.  This program has been supported in part by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities’ We the People initiative on American History. Cosponsored by Avenging The Ancestors Coalition.

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Connecting the Past with the Present, Building Community, Creating a Legacy