In honor of Black History Month, the Greenwich Historical Society, First Presbyterian Church of Greenwich and YWCA Greenwich welcome Constance L. Royster for a brief lecture on the remarkable life and legacy of Connecticut native Constance Baker Motley, an unsung heroine of the Civil Rights Movement whose historic impact will be honored with the issue of a new Forever Stamp by the United States Postal Service one week prior to this event. Royster’s remarks will be followed by a screening of the film The Trials of Constance Baker Motley (2019, 27 mins) and a moderated audience Q&A.
At the height of the civil rights movement, Constance Baker Motley joined the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The only woman in the group, she left her husband and infant son in New York for weeks at a time to represent the LDF in Southern courts, arguing and winning some of the most important cases of the Civil Rights Movement.
The first female Black lawyer Southern judges and juries had seen, she stunned them by winning case after case–gaining the right for Black students to enter Ole Miss, The University of Georgia, and Clemson College, to name a few. After the assassination of her close friend Medgar Evers in Mississippi, she returned to New York–and went on to other callings to become the first Black woman NY State Senator, the first Black woman Manhattan Borough President, and, with the backing of Lyndon Johnson, the first Black woman named to a federal judgeship.
With archival footage and narration in Motley’s own voice, The Trials of Constance Baker Motley tells the story of a civil rights leader who met prejudice and danger with elegance and humor.
Please note this event will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Greenwich.