Justice Deferred: Race and the Supreme Court

The Virginia judge who convicted Richard and Mildred Loving of unlawful “miscegenation” said, “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red and he placed them on separate continents.” He therefore ruled that God “did not intend for the races to mix.” The Supreme Court has dealt with issues involving all these groups, and so does Justice Deferred. From the 17th century through 2021, Burton's lecture covers slavery, its aftermath, Reconstruction, Jim Crow and its dismantling, and modern-day problems, including criminal justice, voting, affirmative action.

Lecture Description

This lecture looks at race and the history of race in the U.S. through the lens of the Supreme Court: from 1619 and colonial slavery – including the Cherokee Trail of Tears and Jim Crow, Chinese exclusion Act, Japanese internment – to the triumph of Brown v. Board of Education, affirmative action, criminal justice, and to the current dismantling of the Voting Rights Act, 2013 and 2021, and continuing today.


Constitutional and Legal Race

ALL TOPICS & TITLES: Go back to all topics and titles.

Orville Vernon Burton

VIEW SPEAKER : Orville Vernon Burton

More Distinguished Lectureship Program Resources