The Color of Law
Ernie Goodman, Detroit, and the Struggle for Labor and Civil Rights
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Wayne State University Press
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This is a book about the people and the social forces that have changed our society over the last century, told through the story of Ernie Goodman, the Detroit lawyer and political activist who played such a unique role in the struggle...
1. In Dark Times
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At 9:44 a.m. on 13 September 1971, a National Guard helicopter roared over the walls of Attica state prison in western New York and began dropping tear gas. The target was Cell Block D and its exercise yard, where twelve hundred...
2. Out of the Ghetto
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On a hot day in the top- floor study room of Detroit’s Central High School, fifteen- year- old Ernie Goodman heard shouting in the schoolyard below and went to the open window. It was 1921, and the gathering conflict between...
3. Taking a Stand
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"If I worked for a wage,” Frank Murphy announced to union supporters the night he became governor- elect of Michigan, “I’d join my union.” Murphy had just been swept to victory in November 1936, on the same landslide that carried...
4. Home Front
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Ernie Goodman had a lot to think about that morning as he crossed Cadillac Square and entered the Barlum office tower in downtown Detroit. It was September 1939, and this was the first day of his new job in Maurice Sugar’s law firm...
5. Hard Landing
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He was getting used to flying. He had to during the war and especially now afterward as his work took him across the continent, from New York City to San Francisco and, on this October day in 1946, Milwaukee. The DC- 3 taxied...
6. Winter Soldier
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A January day in 1950 and the offices seemed deserted. Goodman had just returned from his first trip overseas, to Germany, where he had defended another black GI accused of murder. He had flown back to Detroit invigorated...
7. Getting By
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"It was a constant, ambivalent feeling,” Goodman remembered of the early 1950s. “Year after year, case after case came along. The stress, not only on myself, but other lawyers in the same predicament, it was enormous.” Goodman believed that history...
8. Conspiracy of Belief
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Goodman had been the subject of media attention during the HUAC hearings of 1952, but this would intensify dramatically as he moved from one trial to the next over the following eight years. As defense counsel for local Communists...
9. Southern Exposure
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Goodman looked out over the audience. It was a big crowd, overwhelmingly black. Speaking to large assemblies still made him nervous, the tension knotting his stomach. The planners of the event had predicted that two thousand...
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In the late winter of 1963, somewhere inside Detroit’s massive, granite-faced Federal Building, Special Agent Wayland Archer sifted through a thick file of reports on Ernest Goodman. The file had grown along with the civil rights movement...
11. Rebellion and Reaction
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He was apprehensive, more so than he’d expected. It was, he assured himself, a familiar room, the auditorium on the second floor of Central Methodist Church, the massive stone building on lower Woodward Avenue where he had spoken...
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Tear gas was still hanging in the air at Attica when prison authorities gave their first reports of inmate atrocities. Under orders from Governor Nelson Rockefeller, the New York state police had just retaken control of the prison...
13. The Longer View
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It was only a three- hour drive northeast of Detroit, but Stratford, Ontario, seemed a world away. There were several routes to the Shakespeare Festival that Ernie and Freda knew well, crossing the river into Canada at Detroit or Port Huron, often traveling...
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Page Count: 592
Publication Year: 2010
Volume Title: N/a
Series Title: Great Lakes Books