Evans Delivers the Capstone Black History Month Lecture Titled Thurgood Marshall: The Justice, the Legacy

On Wednesday, February 23, 2011, Assistant Professor Tonya M. Evans will deliver the capstone lecture in the Legal Perspectives in African-American History Lecture Series. The series is sponsored by the Black Law Students Association of Widener University School of Law – Harrisburg (BLSA-Harrisburg). Her presentation is titled Thurgood Marshall: The Justice, the Legacy. Marshall was a brilliant and accomplished lawyer who graduated first in his class from Howard University School of Law. He was also a civil rights advocate and the first African-American member of the Supreme Court of the United States (1967–91).

As an attorney, he successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), which declared unconstitutional racial segregation in American public schools and overturned the “separate but equal” law of the land that had persisted since the decision in Plessey v. Ferguson.

In her remarks, Professor Evans seeks to expound on and extend the remarks delivered earlier this month by Professor Starla Williams. Professor Williams provided extensive coverage of the landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education, spearheaded by Marshall. Professor Williams focused on the profound and pervasive impact of Brown on segregation and education in America.

Professor Evans, a graduate of Howard University School of Law and former Editor-in-Chief of that school’s Law Journal, focuses more directly on the life and legacy of Justice Marshall. She intends to explore not only the esteemed biographical history of Justice Marshall but also his significant impact and tireless efforts in remedying racial disparity and injustice within the legal system. Professor Evans will highlight lesser known but still impactful cases like Murray v. Pearson and Chambers v. Florida, which prepared the essential groundwork leading up to Brown.

Justice Marshall’s legacy continues to positively affect the lives of students, lawyers and Americans even to this day. His contribution to the legal landscape of the United States forever changed its foundation. Additionally, Marshall was also an integral participant in drafting the first constitutions of African nations Ghana and what is now known as Tanzania. His legacy and contribution crossed borders and impacted lives across the world.

Click here for more information on the BLSA Legal Perspectives in African American History Lecture Series, including presentations by Professors Randle Pollard and Starla Williams.

Professor Evans to Present at Berkeley IP Conference

Recently Professor Tonya Evans accepted an invitation to present her work-in-progress, Sampling, Looping and Mashing … Oh My!: How Hip hop Music is Scratching More Than the Surface of Copyright Law, at the Intellectual Property Scholars Conference to be held at the UC Berkeley School of Law on August 12th and 13th, 2010.

In her article, Professor Evans notes that although the United States Constitution directs Congress to regulate copyright and patent laws ultimately to serve human values and social ends by promoting innovation and creativity, copyright law as currently applied to the medium of music, both the performance embodied in a sound recording and the underlying musical composition itself, fails to meet that constitutional directive. This point, argues Professor Evans, is illustrated quite clearly in the case of a musical genre like “hip hop” that for decades has relied on the innovative use of existing recordings (most of which are protected by copyright), to create completely new works.

The annual conference is co-sponsored by the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, Berkeley Law School; the Intellectual Property Program, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University; the Center for Intellectual Property Law and Information Technology, DePaul University College of Law; and the Stanford Program in Law, Science & Technology, Stanford Law School.

The IP Scholars Conference brings together intellectual property scholars to present their works-in-progress and to listen and discuss others’ works. The format of the conference is designed to facilitate open discussion and to help scholars hone their ideas.

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