Feature

Black History Month 2019

Friday, February 1, 2019

Sharing what inspires them, the leaders of our African-American/Black Lawyer Network recommend several books about the people shaping today’s history.

Jocelyn Cuttino on Becoming by Michelle Obama
“Becoming” is an inspiring behind-the-scenes look at the Michelle Obama we all yearned to know during her years as First Lady. It’s a testament to resilience and growth, motherhood and community, but most of all to being your authentic self. It’s a reminder that no matter how many times we swerve, we can always get back on track.
 
Terry Johnson on No Free Ride: From the Mean Streets to the Mainstream by Kweisi Mfume and Ron Stodghill
“No Free Ride” is the quintessential American success story: it’s about how a man who came from nothing and who started down the wrong path was able to reinvent himself to become a successful and influential public figure. It’s about the triumph of the human spirit and how if you put your mind to it and put in the work, you can accomplish anything. My favorite quote from the book is “it's not how you start in life that counts, but how you finish."
 
Brent Hawkins on Make It Plain: Standing Up and Speaking Out by Vernon Jordan
"Make it Plain: Standing Up and Speaking Out" is a collection of notable speeches Vernon Jordan, esteemed civil rights attorney and former Executive Director of the National Urban League, has given throughout his illustrious career. I think my favorite speech is his eulogy for Thurgood Marshall (the father of my colleague, Morgan Lewis partner Thurgood Marshall, Jr.), in which he said that Thurgood Marshall "showed that the law could be an instrument of liberation" for black Americans, "rather than an instrument of oppression." I think that’s particularly apropos in today’s turbulent times.