Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Burnham, Margaret (1944–)

A civil rights attorney, Burnham worked for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund for two years before moving on to various law firms. She was part of the team of lawyers that defended her childhood friend, Angela Davis. In 1977, she was appointed Associate Justice of Boston Municipal Court, and was the first African American woman to serve in the Massachusetts judiciary. In 1993, President Nelson Mandela appointed her to an international human rights commission—a precursor to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She primarily works on civil rights and employment cases. In 2002, she joined the faculty of the Northeastern University School of Law, where she founded and directs the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project.