Legal Historian and Award Winning Author, Tomiko Brown-Nagin, to speak on Atlanta’s Protracted Struggle for Equal Rights

Nov 09 - Nov 09, 2017 | 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Atlanta, GA – Thursday, November 9, 2017, at 5:00 p.m., legal historian, Tomiko Brown-Nagin will be at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library for a lecture about her award winning book, Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement.  

Brown-Nagin traces Atlanta’s civil rights struggle from World War II to 1980, exploring the divergent voices within the African American community’s elders and youth, local and national leadership, grassroots and elites, middle-class and working class.   The book reveals tensions and disagreement about the movement’s goals and tactics and the resulting challenges to the alliances in the shared objective to end legalized segregation and discrimination practices in Atlanta, the state of Georgia and ultimately the United States. 

“We are pleased to have Professor Brown-Nagin speak at our Library.  Her book deepens our knowledge about the complexity of the Civil Rights Movement and helps us better understand the dynamic forces and tensions within today’s movement for social justice,” said CEO & Library Director, Loretta Parham.

Tomiko Brown-Nagin is the Daniel P. S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, Professor of History at Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute, and the Co-Director of the Law School’s Program in Law and History.  She is a member of the American Law Institute, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. She has published articles in a variety of popular press and professional journals, including the Yale Law Journal, the Harvard Law Review, the Columbia Law Review, and the Journal of Law & Education. She is a frequent media commentator on legal issues and educational policy. Her book, Courage to Dissent, won the Bancroft Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in the field of American history writing.

The lecture and book signing will take place in the AUC Woodruff Library, 111 James P. Brawley Drive SW, Atlanta, GA 30314.  Special guests at the event include Atlanta civil rights activists from the 1960s and alumni of the Atlanta Student Movement. The event is free and open to the public.

This program is co-sponsored by Georgia Humanities and the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library and presented in association with the exhibit, “Start Something: Activism and the Atlanta Student Movement.”   The exhibit is on display at the AUC Woodruff Library through May 21, 2018. For more information about the exhibit and accompanying public programs, visit

About the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

The Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library is a member of the nation’s oldest and largest consortium of historically black colleges and universities, which includes Clark Atlanta University, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College and Spelman College. The Library provides high level information resources and services in support of student and faculty success. The Library is winner of the 2016 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award from the Association of Collegiate and Research Libraries.  Learn more at

About Georgia Humanities

Georgia Humanities is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities serving the people of Georgia. In a spirit of collaboration, Georgia Humanities gathers, preserves, and shares our state's distinctive stories through a range of cultural and educational programs and resources. Our work nurtures Georgians’ understanding of ourselves and of our state’s place in history and in the world, and it fosters thoughtful and engaged citizenship. For more information, please visit