In celebration of African American History Month, HLS Professor Kenneth Mack ’91 participated in a Library of Congress symposium on the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
The symposium “The NAACP: Reflections on the First 100 Years,” explored both the history of the NAACP, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2009, and its future. The Feb. 26 event was held at the library’s Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C.
The program included presentations by Mack; Patricia Sullivan, associate professor of history and African-American studies at the University of South Carolina; and Robert L. Zangrando, professor emeritus of history at the University of Akron.
Video of the entire symposium is available on C-SPAN’s website (link below). Mack’s presentation begins at 75:00.
The NAACP is the nation’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized mass-based civil rights organization. Founded February 12, 1909, on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, the association currently encompasses a vast network of more than 2,200 branches covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Japan and Germany. Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, the membership of the NAACP exceeds 500,000, and continues to expand.
Mack’s scholarly work focuses on the relationship between racial-professional identity and civil rights lawyering in the early twentieth century United States, has written a number of scholarly articles and is completing a book entitled “Representing the Race: Creating the Civil Rights Lawyer, 1920-1955,” forthcoming Harvard University Press.
Currently a visiting professor at Georgetown Law, Mack has taught at HLS since 2000. From 2002 to 2006, he was co-director of the Harvard Law School Legal History Colloquium. In 2008-09 ,he was the co-director of the annual workshop, entitled “Race-Making and Law-Making in the Long Civil Rights Movement,” at the Charles Warren Center for American History at Harvard University. He earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Princeton. Prior to pursuing his Ph.D. studies in history, he was a law clerk for Federal District Judge Robert L. Carter of the Southern District of New York, as well as a trial and appellate litigator at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. During the first national elections in post-apartheid South Africa, he served as co-area director of election monitoring for the United States and Canada.
In 2003, Mack delivered the annual Hugo L. Black Lecture at the University of Alabama Law School, and in 2005 he delivered the Annual John Gedid Lecture at Widener University.