Celebrating Black History
“Celebrating Black History” is the newest addition to the Supreme Court’s website. The space is a centralized location that highlights the impact of African American lawyers, judges, and others in Ohio and beyond. Along with chronicling prominent Black figures and stories that have shaped the state’s legal past and present, the webpage is a resource to keep alive the conversation about current and historical race related issues.
Prejudice and Progress
A documentary series exploring racial injustice and the legal journeys of African Americans in Ohio.
Daisy Perkins was the first Black woman to practice law in Ohio, representing criminal defendants in Columbus throughout the 1920's, until charges of perjury forced her out of the legal profession and sent her to prison.
Retired Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Ronald Adrine reflects on his experience as a young lawyer serving as a committee investigator for the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations that was formed to investigate the killings of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and President John F. Kennedy.
The story of pioneering state Rep. Benjamin Arnett and his battle against the “Ohio Black Laws,” a Northern version of the South’s Jim Crow statutes that denied free Black Americans their full rights in society.
Ohio On Trial
A series exploring landmark and significant Ohio court cases.
Once upon a time in Cleveland, a vengeful crime boss, an aggressive police detective, and a stubborn young Shaker Heights woman inadvertently changed American justice forever.
Supreme Court Black History Month Celebrations
The Supreme Court of Ohio’s annual recognition and celebration of the extraordinary contributions of African Americans to the history of Ohio and the United States.
Justice Melody Stewart, the first African American woman elected to the Supreme Court of Ohio, delivered an insightful presentation on how her knowledge of law and music often intertwine, and how she uses her musical background to aid her legal work.
Dr. Frederic Bertley, CEO of COSI Columbus, shared his passion for improving the quality of science education and his visionary ideas about appreciating the science that is all around us.
Former Ohio State University running back Maurice Clarett shared about his success on the football field, struggle with drugs and alcohol, self-engineered redemption, and his emergence as a leader in his hometown of Youngstown.
Dr. Clarence Newsome, Ph.D., President of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati from 2013-2017, spoke about his experience and academic work in African American history and culture, as well as religious history.
Michael Coleman shared remarks centered on how he used his law degree to lead, inspire, and shape public policy during his tenure as Mayor of Columbus from 2000 to 2015.
Students from the Law & Leadership Institute engaged in a panel discussion about the quote, “Always stand up for what is right, even if it means you have to stand alone.”
Renowned Columbus architect Curtis Moody discussed the continued need for legislative initiatives, such as affirmative action, to ensure racial inclusion and diversity in business. Moody, who is the president and CEO of the firm Moody-Nolan, has designed or remodeled buildings across the country, including Value City Arena and the Ohio Union in Columbus. He assisted in the renovation of the Thomas Moyer Justice Center in 2004.
Janet E. Jackson, C.E.O. and President of the United Way of Central Ohio and former Franklin County judge shared the importance of improving diversity on the bench and bar, and the changes she witnessed in the years from when she first received her law degree to the present-day.
Justice Yvette McGee Brown, Ohio's first female African American Justice, spoke of her background, personal philosophy, and heroes.
U.S. Military Veterans and artist Robert Tanner Sr. discussed the impact and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American military airmen.
Federal Judge Robert Duncan spoke of his groundbreaking career, important events and people that impacted Black History in Ohio, and his friendship with Chief Justice Thomas Moyer. He also recounted his personal experiences of growing up in segregated times and the incredible changes he witnessed in his lifetime. Judge Duncan was the first African American elected to judicial office in Franklin County, the first to serve on the Supreme Court of Ohio, the first to win a seat in a statewide Ohio election, the first to serve on the U.S. Court of Military Appeals, and the first to be appointed to the federal bench in Ohio.
Forum on the Law Lecture Series
The Forum on the Law was established in 2009 by the late Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer as an ongoing lecture series. Events feature regional or national speakers who address contemporary or historic legal topics.
Appreciation of the long journey of American civil rights law is vital to understanding how our nation’s aspirations of liberty and freedom have evolved. 2016 marked the 150th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which remains a cornerstone of human rights enforcement. Noted civil rights attorney Avery Friedman discusses the impact of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and its importance in ensuring fairness and equal opportunity in American life.
Wil Haygood discusses his book “Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination that Changed America.” Haygood’s book recounts the stop-at-nothing efforts by a bloc of Southern senators to deny Marshall’s confirmation as the first African American justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sharon Davies, the John C. Elam/Vorys Sater Distinguished Profession of Law at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, discusses her book "Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race and Religion in America" about a revenge killing of a priest and the resulting sensational trial in Birmingham, Ala., in 1921.