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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with George Simkins, April 6, 1997. Interview R-0018. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Black lawyers fear civil rights cases

Simkins explains why it could be difficult to get black lawyers to handle civil rights cases: they feared discrimination in the courtroom and worried about protecting their reputations.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with George Simkins, April 6, 1997. Interview R-0018. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

KAREN KRUSE THOMAS:
That's interesting that the first lawyer was so intimidated. I wonder why he accepted the case at all?
GEORGE SIMKINS:
I did too. But I guess the more he thought about it, he just didn't want to take any chance. At that particular time, it was hard to get any black lawyers to do anything in civil rights.
KAREN KRUSE THOMAS:
Was there fear of violence, or professional problems?
GEORGE SIMKINS:
They feared that the courts would not look favorably upon them, and they just didn't want to risk their profession on cases that were not popular.