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
Keith Students for Civil Rights General Meeting
October 20 2014 at 12:15 PM
Law School Building, 2242
Please join us for a Keith Students for Civil Rights general membership meeting.  Topis to be addressed include planning the upcoming Youth Civil Rights Conference, volunteer opportunities, and upcoming fundraisers.
Wayne Law, Sixth Keith Biennial Lecture featuring Julian Bond
October 23 2014 at 7:30 PM
Community Arts
Note new location: WSU Community Arts Auditorium, 450 Reuther Mall 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 7:30 p.m. in Wayne State University's Community Arts Auditorium on Thursday, October 23, 2014. Reservations are not required, but recommended. Complete details
Connecting the Dots: A Humanitarian-Based Approach to the Renewal of Detroit
October 28 2014 at 7:00 PM
Ewald Branch Public Library
Pointes for Peace and MOSES (Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength) and Michigan Legal Services present "Connecting the Dots: A Humanitarian-Based Approach to the Renewal of Detroit" by Professor Peter Hammer at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28. Hammer, director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne Law, has become a leading voice on the economic and social issues impacting the city of Detroit, and has added new courses to the law school curriculum on “Race, Law and Social Change in Southeast Michigan” and “Re-Imagining Development in Detroit: Institutions, Law & Society.”      
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