FROM THE BLACK BAR by Gilbert--Ed. Ware

FROM THE BLACK BAR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A series of essays, speeches, reprinted articles, and extracts from decisions by black judges and lawyers who discuss the treatment of black people by American courts and police. Contributors include Judges Bruce Wright, George Crockett, Constance Baker Motley and Thurgood Marshall. ""White judicial racism runs rampant in America,"" writes Ware, ""generally tolerated by the organized bar, white and black, with notable individual exceptions."" Double standards range from ""white judges, prosecutors and other court personnel [who] often are deliberately discourteous to black lawyers and clients,"" to the much higher capital punishment incidence for black defendants. A 1973 judges' study shows that whites accused of ripping off cars are often charged with ""unauthorized use of a vehicle"" while blacks are tried for ""grand larceny."" The writers agree economic circumstances rather than race lead to high crime rates in congested urban areas predictably urging an activist stance by black lawyers against racism in the courts. Other articles focus on employment discrimination, school segregation, urban renewal, and landlord-tenant relations. Unfortunately, there is no discussion of how the jury system relates to all this. Despite a large amount of rhetorical overkill and occasional startling simplifications, there is no doubt that these jurists build a very strong case. But you have read this before--and more than once.

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1975
Publisher: Putnam