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Charles Hamilton Houston and the Struggle for Civil Rights



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Charles Hamilton Fight for Civil Rights

The book ‘Groundwork: Charles Hamilton Houston and the Struggle for Civil Rights, is one of the great works of  Genna McNeil,  and one of the most famous books in USA Law and policy-making history. The book has contributed immensely to the elimination of racial discrimination and the harmonization of the American law on racial differences. The book is about one of the great heroes in the American law society, Charles Hamilton Houston. Generally, the book illustrates the life and contributions of a great lawyer and educator, Charles Hamilton, as well as his contribution to American law and policy. The book shows how Houston played a great role in the foundation of the US 1950s and 1960s decisions on civil rights (Genna, 1984).


In her book, the author, Genna McNeil, recognizes the efforts and contributions of Houston in ensuring that American law and policies are fair to all people regardless of their color and sex. The book vividly shows how Houston played a great role during his time as a lawyer. Being one of the learned African Americans of the time, Houston participated in almost every legal proceeding that was based on color discrimination. As the book unfolds, Genna continues to illustrate how Houston played a great role in ensuring that civil rights were upheld in courts. When he was the dean of the Howard University Law School, Houston, trained some of the popular civil rights activists such as Marshall and Thurcivic (Genna, 1984).

Throughout the book, Genna treats Houston passionately praising him as a courageous genius who was responsible for the fight for legal justice that brought to an end the discriminating laws in America. She explains Houston as a key figure in the foundation of the law and policies that changed the course of American life for good. The book is very straightforward and informative. The author does not write much about the family history of Houston. The books concentrate on Houston’s career as a lawyer. By narrating the story of Houston, the author can make her book both instructive and informative to law students and other people who would wish to know the history behind the American civil rights reforms of the 1960s (Genna, 1984).

The book is not very broad in terms of volume and this makes it easy to carry around. It also gives a good impression to readers scared by big volumes. It starts with an introduction on page 3 and ends with conclusions on page 217. Generally, the book is less than 220 pages depending on the edition that you are using. The organization of the book is excellent as it starts with a brief introduction of the early life of Houston and his experience in the army. Later in the book, the author discusses what she calls the matters of conscience where she presented Houston as a serious lawyer and a civil rights activist. Here the author shows how Houston believed that racism would one day come to an end. He also fought for work rights for the blacks whereby he urged the blacks to join efforts because they could not achieve anything while isolated.

As the book comes to an end, the author shows Houston was also a realistic man. The book comes to an end with encouraging words from Houston where he urges the blacks to be strong even when they lose some of their own in the fight (Genna, 1984). The book is worth reading by any person who wants to know more about the history of the American civil rights law and policies, as well as the contribution of the blacks to this reform. The language used in the book by the author is simple and you do not need to be a law student to understand the book. 

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