Outsiders Within

Black Women in the Legal Academy After Brown v. Board

By (author) Elwood D. Watson

Publication date:

16 May 2008

Length of book:

160 pages


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9780742540736

Through interviews with prominent legal academics such as Lani Guinier and Kimberle Crenshaw, Outsiders Within presents the trials and accomplishments of black women law professors who began to enter the legal academy in the 1970s and 80s. The often-overlooked legacies of these women are brought to light as chapters highlight the work of important women like Jean Cahn, who co-founded Antioch Law School in 1972, and Emma Coleman-Jordan, who founded the Northeast Corridor Collective of black women law professors in 1988. Author Elwood Watson also discusses the scholarship of a number of black women law professors who have written on the intersection of race and gender, and employs their findings to determine how the experiences of black women in the law academy differ from those of black men and white men and women.
Outsiders Within contributes a disciplinary perspective to growing discussions about Black women academics' intellectual history. The accounts of professional trials and the public tribulations of law professors enriches our understanding of the experiences and perspectives of Black women who came after law student pioneers like Sadie T. M. Alexander, Constance Baker Motley, and Ada Sipuel. Watson points to invaluable resources to challenge the race and gender status quo in the legal academy.