Constance Baker Motley
We are not a problem people; we are a people with problems. We have historic strengths; we have survived because of family.
In 1950, Motley wrote the original complaint in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, which would be the most famous case she was involved in. She was successful in nine of the ten cases she argued before the Supreme Court and served as a key legal strategist in the civil rights movement, helping to desegregate southern schools, buses and lunch counters. In 1964, she became the first African American woman elected to the New York State Senate. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson named her a federal court judge. In 2001, President Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Citizens Medal.