Race and Law in U.S. History talk

    January 21, 2017 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
    Joel D. Valdez main library
    101 N Stone Ave
    Tucson, AZ 85701


    “Thomas J. Davis teaches U.S. constitutional and legal history at Arizona State University and has taught as a visiting professor of law at the ASU College of Law. As an historian and lawyer, he focuses on civil rights, employment, and property law (particularly on issues of race, identity and law) in addition to constitutional matters. He received his PhD in U.S. history from Columbia University and his JD cum laude from the University at Buffalo Law School. He is the author most recently of Plessy v. Ferguson (Santa Barbara CA, 2012). Contact Info: tjdavis_law@yahoo.com / (480) 812-0823”

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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


    1. 20 people in audience today to hear this history professor talk about race in America. He defined race as “public attitudes towards groups perceived physically different”, that race was a “social reality”, to answer question “who should be an American?”. He said that being White was the standard in life and law in America since the beginning of the Republic: Whites/Reds/Blacks, then Browns and Yellows. Red was an external Other (the Indians) and Black was Internal Other (the slaves), since the early colonists didn’t recognize any other race than White. He outlined the history of discrimination & exclusion, Yellow Peril, fear of deportation, then answered questions about his own life as a Black man in America, voter i.d. laws, racism in families of origin, Plessy vs Ferguson (where do Creoles fit in between Black and White train segregation). He also said that public schools today were probably more segregated than when Brown vs. BOE was decided in 1954. And observe which races are the most represented in prisons (Blacks and Hispanics).


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