Original Author: American Civil War Museum
Created: 2018

Brown v. Board of Education Arguments

In this excerpt from a 2018 interview, Clarence Dunnaville (1933–), a Roanoke-born lawyer who was active in the civil rights movement, talks about being at the United States Supreme Court in December 1953 when Spottswood Robinson III and Thurgood Marshall gave oral arguments as part of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education legal decision. Dunnaville witnessed the proceedings while a student at Morgan State University, and that experience inspired him to become a lawyer. After graduating from law school in 1957, he practiced law in New York State and was appointed an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York by Robert F. Kennedy in 1961. He was also active in the civil rights movement, traveling to Mississippi as a volunteer attorney in 1967. He returned to Roanoke to work at Oliver Hill’s law firm in 1990. This interview, recorded by the American Civil War Museum, is part of Voices of Virginia, an open access initiative funded by Virginia Tech Libraries.