89.1 WEMU

Moments of the Movement: Matthew Perry

Feb 3, 2014

The courtroom was the ultimate battleground in the war for equal rights for all of America’s citizens, and among the names of African-American lawyers who fought on this stage is that of Matthew J. Perry Jr. Perry was the first African-American lawyer from South Carolina to ascend to the federal bench, and the federal courthouse in Columbia now bears his name. But before all that, Perry was a young lawyer attempting to try cases in the deep South, often before biased and racist judges. Perry explains how he got around the judge who routinely found his clients guilty—before he even heard the evidence.   Each morning at 7:30 in February, experience the unheralded histories and testimonials of individuals who participated in the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s.