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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Leroy Beavers, August 8, 2002. Interview R-0170. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Segregation prevents a black lawyer from practicing law

Beavers remembers "Chalk Eye," the first African American to earn a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Segregated prevented him from practicing law, however, and he earned money giving legal advice.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Leroy Beavers, August 8, 2002. Interview R-0170. 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

Then we had one man. I'm going to call him Chalk Eye. He was one of the first black men to go to University of Pennsylvania Law School and got a law degree but couldn't practice law.
KIERAN TAYLOR:
Because of segregation.
LEROY BEAVERS, JR.:
Because of segregation and the only thing he could do was be like maybe I guess a paralegal, what you want to call it a paralegal, give legal advice to blacks around and did taxes, everybody taxes from whoever had taxes to be done, whoever had jobs had to get taxes done. I remember him, and he would sit and tell me about, I try to figure out how in the hell did he get to go to the University of Pennsylvania. He went to the University of Pennsylvania in the '40s, in the early '40s and graduated, and then he turned out to be just one of the biggest alcoholics of all times, that hurt. What made him go that, what did him like this here.