“Civil Rights Queen,” Constance Baker Motley (1921-2005) was a brilliant, talented, and highly skilled jurist and politician. Over the course of her life, she served as a staff attorney for the NAACP, law clerk to Thurgood Marshall, Manhattan Borough President (she was the first woman and the first Black woman to hold the post), US federal judge (also a first for a Black woman), NY State Senator, and civil rights warrior. She was the first Black woman to argue at the Supreme Court.

Motley did lot allow sexism or racism at every level of our judicial system to deter her. She fought hard and she rarely lost.

Learn more about her at Smithsonian Magazine online and US Courts.

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