Welcome to the Keith Collection

The Damon J. Keith Law Collection of African American Legal History was established in 1993 to meet the need for a central repository for the nation’s African American legal history. The Collection is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and providing resources pertaining to African American legal history, including the history of prominent African American lawyers, judges, and lawmakers, and others whose service to the community reflects an interest in and commitment to civil rights and social justice.  The Collection contains papers and other materials documenting the experience of African Americans and the law, nationally, with a particular emphasis on Michigan.  Upon the founding contribution of papers by the Honorable Damon J. Keith, judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the Keith Collection was firmly established. The Collection is a partnership between the Walter P. Reuther Library, a world-renowned archival repository, and the Wayne State University Law School and is available for research by scholars, students and the general public.

The Honorable Damon J. Keith

"Through Howard University Law School, we came to know these lawyers who are legends today in African American legal history. They include: Charles H. Houston, Thurgood Marshall, William H. Hastie Jr., James Nabrit Jr., Spottswood Robinson III, George E. C. Hayes…. They taught us that the Constitution was our best hope; that equality would come through the law."

− The Honorable Damon J. Keith

Wayne Law School


Calendar of Events

Full List
50 Years of Justice - Celebrating Civil Rights in Michigan
September 19 2014 at 8:30 AM
Law School Building, Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium
Please join the Michigan Civil Rights Commission and the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights for a day long symposium which will focus on the past, present and future of civil rights in Michigan. We will be joined by many of the former commissioners as well as various guest and keynote speakers.  Breakfast and lunch will be provided. This event is free and open to the public. Event Agenda: 8:30am Registration & Continental Breakfast 9:00am Welcome & Introductions 9:30-10:30 Panel Discussion“Fighting for Civil Rights: The Path to Progress”Moderator: The Honorable Mel LarsenPanelists include Judge Linda V. Parker, Dr. Ruben Martinez, Dr. Bertram Marks and others 10:45-11:45 Panel Discussion“The Future of Civil Rights in Michigan”Moderator: Dr. Peter HammerPanelists include Donnell White, Steve Tobocman and others 12:00 Lunch—registration requiredMcGregor Memorial Conference Center 1:00-1:30 “Lessons From Ferguson”Mr. Chris King, Editor, St Louis American 1:30:2:30 Michigan Media Roundtable 2:30-3:00 Audience Q&A For more information: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdcr/50YrsofJustice_467730_7.pdf  
Julian Bond presents the Sixth Keith Biennial Lecture
October 23 2014 at 7:30 PM
Law School Building
The Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School is pleased to announce its Sixth Biennial Lecture featuring civil rights activist and distinguished professor Julian Bond.  The lecture, titled "Under Color of Law" is sponsored by Comerica Bank and will take place at 7 p.m. in Wayne State University's Law School Auditorium on Thursday, October 23, 2014.Reservations are not required, but recommended.
Youth Civil Rights Conference
November 14 2014 at 9:00 AM
Law School Building, Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium & various other rooms
The Youth Civil Rights Conference brings groups of high school students together to engage actively in seeking solutions to building communities across racial, ethnic, and class lines in Metro Detroit.  It is also a means of supporting the school-to-higher-education path for high schools students.
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