Home | About | Donate

Justice is a Black Woman: The Amazing Constance Baker Motley


Justice is a Black Woman: The Amazing Constance Baker Motley

Marta Daniels

You may not know her name, but you have been affected by the legal battles she won and the precedents she set that helped shape civil rights, women’s rights and human rights. A brilliant lawyer and distinguished federal judge for over forty years, Constance Baker Motley (1921-2005) quietly helped change the course of American history. She is one of many unsung civil rights heroines who waded into the Big Muddy of American racism, but whose name today remains relatively unknown.


No question, Constance Baker Motley has worked hard for the black community. If we’re talking about civil rights and justice, those are broader issues, and no one in the post-Reagan era has legitimately addressed these issues. More accurately, the concepts are confined to how they apply exclusively to the black community. Civil rights are, put simply, legal rights. As the struggle for equal opportunities and legal rights for black people continues, we have reversed course in other areas, most strikingly in terms of stripping away the civil (and human) rights of the poor. Even “progressives” have been fine with this steady deterioration of rights. Rev. Martin Luther King pointed out something that remains true today: The majority of America’s poor are white. He stressed that the poor of all races needed to come together to push back – for their own survival. Since at least the 1990s, much work has gone into pitting the poor against each other by race, while deeply pitting the poor and middle class against each other. Divide and conquer.


You are very correct, what we have now is just plain greed, greed was part of slavery and segregation, keeping people down for lower wages. Most people don’t understand our nation at all and as you point out, the post Reagan era, having grown up in the 60’s and 70’s it was shocking to see how much we learned and advanced during that time and then how quickly we went backward in 1980 and since. Few realize the relationship between the Robber Barons of post Civil war and the return since 1980. The people of this nation had few gains between the worker revolutions in the early 1900’s and post WWII with the GI Bill and college for the first time for many, this new educated populace quickly figured out what was going on in the early 60’s and fought for many changes from Civil Rights to environmental issues, it seems there’s just been a dumbing down since 1980. With de regulations they took over the media and with it they are fanning the hate and divide and conquer tactic.


I have been reading up on her again since part of her property in Chester, Ct is going to be preserved by the Chester Land Trust in her memory. She is what I call a person of “Firsts”, there were many throughout history and many of them African-American. Her history reminds me a lot of my great-grest grandfather Cortlandt Van Rensselaer Creed M.D. who was the first African-American to graduate Yale as an MD in 1857, his father was a steward and caterer at Yale. I invite anyone to check into his history at - https://www.facebook.com/231729933532330/photos/a.231733496865307.53257.231729933532330/231733500198640/?type=1&theater