January 17, 2013
“Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement” (Oxford University Press, 2011) by Harvard Law Professor Tomiko Brown-Nagin has received numerous awards and has been cited for offering an important new perspective on the civil rights movement. The book was released in paperback this past September by Oxford.
In March, it was announced that Brown-Nagin had won the Bancroft Prize, which is awarded annually by Columbia University. Winners are judged in terms of the scope, significance, depth of research, and richness of interpretation they present in the areas of American history and diplomacy. In April, the book received the Liberty Legacy Award from the Organization of American Historians to the author of the best book by a historian on the civil rights struggle from the beginnings of the nation to the present. In September, the book was awarded the Lillian Smith Book Award from the Southern Regional Council, and in November, the book received both the John Phillip Reid Book Award from the American Society for Legal History and the Charles Sydnor Award from the Southern Historical Association. This December, the “Courage to Dissent” received the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation Award in the category of non-fiction.
A reviewer in the Journal of American History hailed "Courage to Dissent" as a “model for integrating the national and local histories of civil rights struggles” that “succeeds brilliantly as both narrative history and legal analysis.”
Brown-Nagin has written widely on legal history and civil rights, including numerous law and history journal articles, book chapters, essays and book reviews. She is currently working on a biography of Constance Baker Motley, the civil rights lawyer, politician, and federal judge.
Prior to joining the Harvard faculty, Brown-Nagin held joint appointments in law and history at the University of Virginia and at Washington University. Before entering academia, she clerked for the Honorable Robert L. Carter of the U. S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and for the Honorable Jane Roth of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and worked as a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York City.