Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Education: Law School

BOND: Now, you go to Howard. Are you attracted to Howard because it is the black law school and the civil rights law school?

JORDAN: It was the only law school at the time that --


BOND: You could have gone someplace else.

JORDAN: Well --

BOND: Could have gone to Indiana.

JORDAN: I could have gone to Indiana. I could have gone to Michigan. I wanted for a time to come to the University of Virginia law school. 1957, the University of Virginia was only taking black students, to the extent that they did, who were residents of Virginia. I was a resident of Georgia. And my professor, Stephen Early, the son of President Roosevelt's secretary, had taught here and was sort of my investigator and -- to come into the University of Virginia. But at that time, 1957, that was not a possibility. And so I chose Howard because it was the only school that taught civil rights. I chose Howard because this was Thurgood Marshall's law school, this was Peanut [Oliver] Hill's law school, this was Robert Carter's law school. And it was the capstone. Mr. [L. D.] Milton, who was the president of our local bank, Citizens Trust Bank, was the chairman of the board. My dentist, Harvard Smith, was a graduate. My physician, Dr. R. A. Billings, was a graduate of Howard. So, I had good reason to want to come to Howard. And it was a delayed admission. I had been admitted to the undergraduate school, so it was right.