ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law is recognizing the life and accomplishments of Virgil D. Hawkins on Wednesday, February 19, at 5 p.m. The program called Remembering Virgil Hawkins will feature a discussion and video detailing how Hawkins was instrumental in the creation of the FAMU College of Law.
“It is appropriate to not only remember, but to also thank Virgil Hawkins for his courageous efforts,” said FAMU Law Interim Dean Nicky Boothe Perry. “Pioneers like Virgil Hawkins and others paved the way for so many talented African Americans to enter law school and achieve their dreams to practice law.”
Program speakers include FAMU Law Professor Reginald Mitchell, Sr., a historian who researched the rich history of FAMU Law including when it was closed and then reopened after a successful battle, FAMU Law Professor and Library Director, Yolanda Jones, Ph.D., FAMU Law Assistant Library Director Lorelle Anderson and Librarian Paul McLaughlin.
In April 1949, Hawkins, the director of public relations for Bethune Cookman College, applied for admission to the University of Florida College of Law and was denied entry. He was academically eligible for admission. For nine years Hawkins and his supporters fought against Florida’s broad Jim Crow laws which racially segregated its state universities. Hawkins was victorious in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Remembering Virgil Hawkins
Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 5 p.m.
FAMU Law Room 249
201 Beggs Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801
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