Life of Elreta Melton Alexander: Activism Within the Courts (Paperback)

Life of Elreta Melton Alexander: Activism Within the Courts By Virginia L. Summey Cover Image

Life of Elreta Melton Alexander: Activism Within the Courts (Paperback)

$26.95


Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days

This book explores the life and contributions of groundbreaking attorney, Elreta Melton Alexander Ralston (1919-98). In 1945 Alexander became the first African American woman to graduate from Columbia Law School. In 1947 she was the first African American woman to practice law in the state of North Carolina, and in 1968 she became the first African American woman to become an elected district court judge. Despite her accomplishments, Alexander is little known to scholars outside of her hometown of Greensboro, North Carolina. Her life and career deserve recognition, however, not just because of her impressive lists of "firsts," but also owing to her accomplishments during the civil rights movement in the U.S. South.

While Alexander did not actively participate in civil rights marches and demonstrations, she used her professional achievements and middle-class status to advocate for individuals who lacked a voice in the southern legal system. Virginia L. Summey argues that Alexander was integral to the civil rights movement in North Carolina as she, and women like her, worked to change discriminatory laws while opening professional doors for other minority women. Using her professional status, Alexander combatted segregation by demonstrating that Black women were worthy and capable of achieving careers alongside white men, thereby creating environments in which other African Americans could succeed. Her legal expertise and ability to reach across racial boundaries made her an important figure in Greensboro history.
Product Details ISBN: 9780820361932
ISBN-10: 0820361933
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Publication Date: May 1st, 2022
Pages: 210
Language: English