PUBLISHED:January 28, 2013

Randall Kennedy to deliver civil rights lecture series

Randall Kennedy, the Michael R. Klein Professor at Harvard Law School, will deliver a five-part lecture series on the modern history of the civil rights movement at Duke Law School during the spring 2013 semester.

The lectures, to be delivered Feb. 13 and 14, March 28, and April 8 and 9, will address the major legislative and legal achievements of the civil rights revolution, including the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, and cases that contributed to symbolic and substantive changes in U.S. law and culture. All lectures will be held at 12:15 p.m. in Room 3041 and are open to the public. Lectures will be webcast on Duke Law’s Ustream channel. Kennedy's lecture is supported by the Robert R. Wilson Fund at Duke University and is part of Duke University’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the undergraduate program’s desegregation.

At Harvard, Kennedy teaches courses on contracts, criminal law, and the regulation of race relations. He is a prolific and prominent writer and has contributed to a broad range of scholarly and general interest publications. In 1998 he received the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for Race, Crime, and the Law (1997). His most recent books are The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency (2011); Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal (2008); Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity, and Adoption (2003); and Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word (2002). 

A member of the American Law Institute, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association, Kennedy is a charter trustee of Princeton University, where he obtained his bachelor of arts degree in 1977. He studied history at Oxford University and holds a JD from Yale Law School. He served as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court of the United States. 


Following is the schedule for Kennedy’s lecture series:

The Achievements of the Civil Rights Movement

Lecture 1: Feb. 13, 2013

12:15 p.m. | Room 3041 | Duke Law School

Hamilton v. Alabama:   The Substance of Symbolism


Lecture 2: Feb. 14

12:15 p.m. | Room 3041 | Duke Law School

Browder v. Gayle:  Challenging de jure Segregation


Lecture 3: March 28

12:15 p.m. | Room 3041 | Duke Law School

Why Did There Need to Be a Civil Rights Act of 1964 and What Did It Accomplish?


Lecture 4:  April 8  

12:15 p.m. | Room 3041 | Duke Law School

Why Did There Need to Be a Voting Rights Act of 1965 and What Did It Accomplish?  


Lecture 5: April 9

12:15 p.m. | Room 3041 | Duke Law School

The Movement and Freedom of Expression