Charles Hamilton Houston Retrospective

Image of Charles Hamilton HoustonA Retrospective Exhibition Honoring Charles Hamilton Houston on the Grand Opening of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice

Images, text, and video related to the Charles Hamilton Houston exhibit are generously hosted by Cornell University.

Charles Hamilton Houston may be best known as the brilliant strategist behind the NAACP’s fight in the courts for racial equality. He was both the architect who drew the plans and the builder who laid the groundwork, case by case, for Brown v. Board of Education, the decision that ended de jure segregation. Houston was a brilliant attorney, an educator who strove to instill his own drive for excellence in the lawyers he trained, and a leader whose every endeavor was undertaken for the benefit of his fellow man. Harvard Law School chose the name of this distinguished alumnus to grace the new Institute for Race and Justice, which will carry on the work to which Houston dedicated his life.

Complementing the Grand Opening of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice in 2005, this exhibition highlighted aspects of Houston’s life and work that may be less well-known—his family, his education, his experience serving in World War I, and some of the innumerable causes to which he lent his energy and name. The documents and photographs remind us how far the civil rights movement has brought our country, how far we have yet to go, and how much the life and work of Charles Hamilton Houston can teach us about how to get there.