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‘Before the Movement’: The Hidden and Vibrant History of Black Civil Rights

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Dylan Penningroth's new book is "Before the Movement: The Hidden History of Black Civil Rights." (Photos courtesy of Dylan Penningroth)

Court cases like the Dred Scott decision and Brown v. Board of Education are among the legal milestones that mark the arduous journey towards civil rights. But throughout the 19th century, ordinary Black Americans, freed and enslaved, sought to enforce their rights under the law. It’s a hidden and largely untold story of how Blacks both relied on, trusted in, and tried to leverage the legal system to establish and protect their rights, and it’s the subject of UC Berkeley historian Dylan Penningroth’s new book, “Before the Movement.” We’ll talk to Penningroth about his work.


Dylan Penningroth, author, "Before the Movement: The Hidden History of Black Civil Rights" - Penningroth is a professor of law and history at U.C. Berkeley and associate dean of the Jurisprudence and Social Policy program. He is the recipient of a MacArthur fellowship and lives in Kensington, California<br />


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