Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights
By Dovey Johnson Roundtree
“Dovey Johnson Roundtree set a new path for women and proved that the vision and perseverance of a single individual can turn the tides of history.” —Michelle Obama
In Mighty Justice, trailblazing African American civil rights attorney Dovey Johnson Roundtree recounts her inspiring life story that speaks movingly and urgently to our racially troubled times. From the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, to the segregated courtrooms of the nation’s capital; from the male stronghold of the army where she broke gender and color barriers to the pulpits of churches where women had waited for years for the right to minister—in all these places, Roundtree sought justice.
At a time when African American attorneys had to leave the courthouses to use the bathroom, Roundtree took on Washington’s white legal establishment and prevailed, winning a 1955 landmark bus desegregation case that would help to dismantle the practice of “separate but equal” and shatter Jim Crow laws. Later, she led the vanguard of women ordained to the ministry in the AME Church in 1961, merging her law practice with her ministry to fight for families and children being destroyed by urban violence.
Dovey Roundtree passed away in 2018 at the age of 104. Though her achievements were significant and influential, she remains largely unknown to the American public. Mighty Justice corrects the historical record.
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“Part moving memoir, part inspiration to resist, Mighty Justice is a must-read.” —Ms. Magazine
“The picaresque arc of her life pulses through this exquisite and essential memoir as she battles her way out of the segregated South and into some of the highest courts in the land, carving ‘a way out of no way.’” —O: The Oprah Magazine
“Trailblazing attorney Dovey Johnson Roundtree died last year at 104, but her legacy shines bright in her memoir . . . It not only covers Johnson’s triumphant journey, but it also enriches our collective memory.” —Essence
“Some life stories are too important to be relegated to dusty history books. They must be remembered, honored, shared. Dovey Johnson Roundtree lived that large and remarkable a life.” —The Associated Press
About co-author Katie McCabe
Co-author Katie McCabe is a freelance writer whose National Magazine Award–winning article on African American medical legend Vivien Thomas was the basis for the HBO film Something the Lord Made, winner of three Emmys and a Peabody Award. McCabe lives in Washington, DC. Mighty Justice is the product of her ten-year collaboration with Dovey Johnson Roundtree.