Found in Yonkers Logo

Article-a-Day #73: Encyclopedia Virginia-Spottswood William Robinson III a Constitutional Lawyer who helped orchestrate the demise of Jim Crow

Spottswood William Robinson III was a constitutional lawyer, legal scholar, and jurist who helped devise and execute the legal strategies that sped the demise of Jim Crow segregation in the 1940s and 1950s. With his legal partner, Oliver W. Hill, Robinson formed the South’s most significant grassroots legal team in combating segregated housing, education, and transportation during the era. In conjunction with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), he argued Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County(1954)before the U.S. Supreme Court. The case became one of five combined into the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) decision striking down segregated public schools. Robinson initiated Morgan v. Virginia (1946), a seminal, early victory in the fight to desegregate trains and buses, and he played a critical role in major cases undermining enforcement of restrictive covenants in residential property sales.