Recent Broward Law Blog Features

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dade Courthouse Ceremony Censures Segregation

Wish I had been there. The Dade County Bar Association did an admirable thing yesterday, leading the way to recognize today that our past was not so pretty. We as Americans were segregationists, and long after the civil war.
Dade County in the 1930's was not populated by liberal northern retirees. It was the deep south. And in Fort Lauderdale, as late as 1949, blacks were not allowed east of US 1 after dark. As Eric Holder, our new Attorney General just pointed out, racism was endemic to the United States of America.
So yesterday one of the old segregated water fountains was not torn down. It got a permanent plaque to etch into history the memories of a disgrace we tolerated. Above that water fountain now reads these words:
``When the Florida Bar was formed in 1950, there were less than 25 black lawyers in the state.
``These lawyers represented their clients in segregated courthouses at a time when justice was neither equal nor fair, and when racial discrimination was not only countenanced by the law -- it was the law.''

Last July, JAABLOG ran a post on the history of Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, the man whose statue (dis?)graces the entrances to the north wing of the courts:
Broward was once the governor, the founder of this county, the namesake, I suppose of this blog. Not sure he is the kind of guy we should celebrate. You can't undo history and the world people lived in 200 years ago. But you do not have to honor it either, do you?

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