A Woman to Know: Constance Baker Motley

I rejected the notion that my race or sex would bar my success in life. — Constance Baker Motley

I rejected the notion that my race or sex would bar my success in life. — Constance Baker Motley

(image via Wikimedia)

Constance Baker Motley’s list of accolades is long, interesting and very impressive:

  • The first black woman accepted into Columbia Law School

  • Part of the legal team that prepared for Brown v. Board of Education

  • Defended Freedom Riders during the 1960s sit-ins

  • Won nine Supreme Court cases in three years

Then a three-year span of firsts in the 1960s:

  • The first woman to be elected to the New York State Senate (1964)

  • The first black woman to be Manhattan Borough President (1965)

  • The first black woman to hold a federal judgeship (1966)

By the time she died in 2005, at the age of 85, she’d received more than 70 awards and honors for her work.

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