From: Randall Kennedy
Re: Solicitation of Proposals for Independent Research
To: The student body
I am looking for students (1) to read a book-length manuscript in its entirety, (2) to focus on an excerpt from that manuscript, and (3) to write a memorandum analyzing that excerpt. The book on which I am working describes and assesses the changes wrought in American law by struggles against perceived racial injustice in the middle of the twentieth century. Another way of describing the project is that it is a legal history of the Second Reconstruction. The memorandum that I have in mind will entail (1) a student mastering the pertinent literature and caselaw, (2) expressing his or her interpretation of the subject, and (3) bringing to my attention all facets of the excerpt that warrant correction, revision, or elaboration. I anticipate that a memorandum would cover 30 to 40 double-spaced pages.
I am especially interested in applications from students who have a substantial grounding in the history of the Second Reconstruction. I am especially interested as well in applications from students who have worked on newspapers, magazines, or journals and anticipate pursuing careers in academia.
Again: I will want someone to read my entire manuscript and then choose a selection from it as the basis of a critique. The manuscript covers a wide range of topics: The state of race relations in the United States in 1950; the desegregation of the armed forces; the desegregation of healthcare; the desegregation of extracurricular activities (particularly athletics) in public universities; the erasure of the race line at private colleges and universities; the relationship of changes in the law of immigration and naturalization to the Second Reconstruction; the relationship of Native Americans to the Second Reconstruction; the relationship of Asian Americans to the Second Reconstruction; the relationship of Latinos to the Second Reconstruction; changes in the relationship between race and the law of criminal procedure during the Second Reconstruction; changes in the relationship between race and the law of policing during the Second Reconstruction; changes in the relationship between law and housing during the Second Reconstruction . . . and on and on.
Once we agree on a topic, you can immediately begin background reading. I will submit to you no later than the beginning of the summer the part of the manuscript I want you to review. I will expect your memorandum no later than September 10.
I can offer two academic credits and a grade.
If you are interested in applying, send me (1) a statement of interest in which you detail the extent of your knowledge about the civil rights movement and its offshoots in law, (2) a resume, and (3) a writing sample.
If you have any questions please feel free to write to me: email@example.com
Below is a provisional table of contents for the book.
Table of Contents
1. The Racial Landscape in 1950
2. Challenging Invidious Racial Discrimination (I)
The School Desegregation Cases
The Ordeal of Enforcement in the First Decade After Brown v. Board of Education
The Desegregation of Public Colleges and Universities
3. Challenging Invidious Racial Discrimination (II)
Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Problems of Enforcement
The March on Washington
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Problems of Enforcement
From Disfranchisement to Demanding the Ballot
The Voting Rights Act of 1965
Problems of Enforcement
5. Challenging Racism in the Law of immigration and Naturalization
6. Black Power
7. “Riots” “Rebellions” “Uprisings” “Long Hot Summers”— Mass Disruptions in the Second Reconstruction
8. Challenging Racism in the Administration of Criminal Law
9. Challenging Racism in Housing:
Resisting Governmental Participation in Housing Discrimination
Resisting Housing Discrimination by Private Parties
White Backlash Against Antidiscrimination Law in Housing
The Open Housing Act of 1968
Reviving the Civil Rights Act of 1866
10. Brown Revisited: The Second Decade and Beyond
11. Civil Liberties and the Second Reconstruction (I)
The Vexed Relationship between Racism, Anti-Communism, and Anti-Racism
The Attempted Suppression of the NAACP
The Origin of Constitutional Protection for Student Dissidents
The Attempted Intimidation of the News Media: New York Times v. Sullivan
Sit-Ins, Massed Dissent, and the Politics of Respectability: Edwards v. South Carolina
The Special Perils of Disobeying Judges: Walker v. City of Birmingham
Morality, Law, and Civil Disobedience: Letter from Birmingham Jail and Its Critics
No Refuge From Dissent? Disruptions at Church and Protests at Politicians’ Homes
12. Civil Liberties and the Second Reconstruction (II)
Racially Motivated Violence
The FBI’s Subversion of Civil Liberties: COINTELPRO
Redress for Political Assassination ? Hampton v. Hanrahan
13. The Second Reconstruction in Memory
14. Change and Continuities: Unfinished Struggles