After considerable struggle to win respect and a man's wages as a teacher, Belva Ann Lockwood found a new challenge in the...

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BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT: The Story of Belva Ann Lockwood

After considerable struggle to win respect and a man's wages as a teacher, Belva Ann Lockwood found a new challenge in the law and began a years-long battle to secure a legal diploma and be admitted to American courtrooms, up to and including the bar of the Supreme Court. An apparently inexhaustible woman, Lockwood also worked for woman's suffrage -- even breaking with Susan B. Anthony to accept a nomination for the presidency from the National Equal Rights Party. And today when lawyers normally confine themselves to narrow specialties, Lockwood's career, which encompassed major breakthroughs in the rights of women to divorce and child custody, the sponsorship of the first black lawyer to practice before the Supreme Court, the winning of a five million dollar settlement for the Cherokee nation and leadership in the field of international law, seems all the more impressive. Indeed, we can't help wondering why Ms. Lockwood's contributions to the feminist cause have been so long uncelebrated, though her opposition to the Civil War on pacifist grounds and her withdrawal from the mainstream of the suffrage movement might have some bearing on this neglect. Dunnahoo's biography, which proceeds from rather anemic dialogue and character-establishing situations to a blandly uncritical narrative of Ms. Lockwood's mature accomplishments, is as undistinguished as it is adequate. But it does give this pioneering woman lawyer a long delayed hearing.

Pub Date: May 8, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1974