Civil Rights

Juanita Jackson Mitchell

Juanita Jackson Mitchell (1913-1992) was an influential civil rights activist and lawyer from the United States. She was born on January 17, 1913, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Mitchell came from a family of civil rights activists; her father, Clarence M. Mitchell Sr., was a prominent civil rights leader and one of the founders of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).

Juanita Jackson Mitchell attended Howard University School of Law and became one of the first African American women to graduate from the institution. She later moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where she began practicing law. Mitchell faced significant challenges and discrimination as an African American woman lawyer in the 1940s and 1950s, but she persevered and fought for civil rights and equal justice.

Eight of the nine Scottsboro Boys, Ozie Powell, Olen Montgomery, William Roberson, Charles Weems, Clarence Norris, Haywood Patterson, Andrew Wright, and, Eugene Williams, were falsely accused of raping two white women, with NAACP representatives Juanita Jackson

Mitchell played a crucial role in the desegregation of public schools in Baltimore, representing African American families in lawsuits against the city’s school system. In 1954, she served as co-counsel for the NAACP in the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education, which resulted in the Supreme Court’s ruling that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional.

Throughout her career, Juanita Jackson Mitchell was actively involved in the civil rights movement. She fought against discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations, and she was dedicated to expanding voting rights for African Americans. Mitchell became the first African American woman to be admitted to the Maryland Bar Association in 1950.

Juanita Jackson Mitchell is shown with her husband, Clarence Mitchell Jr., and sons, Clarence III and Keiffer.

In addition to her legal work, Mitchell was involved in various organizations, including the NAACP, where she served as the president of the Baltimore chapter from 1954 to 1976. She also served on the Maryland Commission on Interracial Problems and Relations and was a member of the Maryland Board of Public Welfare.

Juanita Jackson Mitchell’s activism and legal achievements paved the way for future generations of African American lawyers and civil rights activists. Her dedication to justice and equality left a lasting impact on the fight against racial discrimination in the United States. Mitchell passed away on July 2, 1992, in Baltimore, Maryland, leaving behind a powerful legacy of courage and advocacy.

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