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    Dillard Alum, J.L. Chestnut Jr. dies at 77; lawyer fought for civil rights PDF Print E-mail
    Communications & Marketing - Archived Press Releases
    Tuesday, 07 October 2008 09:53
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    J.L. Chestnut Jr., the first black lawyer in Selma, Ala., and an attorney for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the city's landmark protest marches of the early 1960s, died Sept. 30 at St. Vincent's Hospital in Birmingham. He was 77. A law partner, state Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma, said Chestnut's kidneys began to fail because of an infection after surgery. He received his undergraduate degree from Dillard University in New Orleans in 1953 and enrolled at Howard University law school. He arrived at Howard just as the nation's preeminent black lawyers were gathering at the school to prepare their arguments in Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court declared segregated schools unlawful.

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