2023 - 2024 Spotlights

Spotlight on Lena King Lee: Educator, Attorney and Champion for Women and Children

This week we celebrate Lena King Lee educator, attorney, and politician. Lee was born on July 14, 1906 in Sumter, Alabama.  Her family moved to Illinois and then to Pennsylvania where her father found work as a coal miner and became an activist for worker’s rights. Lee’s father earned enough to send Lee and her siblings to private boarding school.  Lee graduated third in her class in which she was the only African American student.  She went on to earn a scholarship at Cheyney Training School, now Cheyney University near Philadelphia, and received a teaching certificate there in 1927.  Lee moved to Maryland to teach, first to Annapolis, and then to Baltimore.  She taught sixth grade and married Baltimore businessman Robert R. Lee in 1937, and two years later, received a bachelor’s degree in education from Morgan State College.  Like other African Americans, Lee was not permitted to enroll in graduate studies at the University of Maryland College Park, which remained segregated until 1951.  Undeterred, she earned a master’s degree from New York University in 1947, travelling to and from New York City every weekend. Read more about Lee here.

Our Second Black History Spotlight: Edward Garrison Draper

We celebrate Edward Garrison Draper as we begin the second week of Black History Month.  Draper was born free in 1834 at a time when slavery was in full effect.  After completing public school in Philadelphia, attending Dartmouth College, Draper trained to become a lawyer.  Unfortunately for Draper, once trained, he was unable to become barred in the State of Maryland because he was not white. Read more about Draper and how it took him 166 to be admitted to the State Bar of Maryland here

FBA Maryland Chapter Celebrates Black History Month Spotlighting Thurgood Marshall

As we commence Black History Month, the Maryland Chapter celebrates Thurgood Marshall, perhaps the most famous Black legal hero in American history, and rightfully so.  In spite of deeply entrenched racism, Marshall reached the pinnacle of the legal profession, becoming the first Black United States Solicitor General and-- of course-- the first Black Justice of the United States Supreme Court.  Read more details about his life here