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Faculty, Alumna to Participate in Inaugural Unbound Book Festival

April 11th, 2016

Hulston Hall

Two law school faculty members and an alumna will participate in Columbia’s inaugural Unbound Book Festival.

School of Law faculty members Michael Middleton and Chuck Henson will participate in a panel on the book Lloyd Gaines and the Fight to End Segregation, while U.S. Senator Claire C. McCaskill, ’78, will speak about her book, Plenty Ladylike: A Memoir.

Gaines is an important piece of the law school’s history. According to the law school’s Lloyd L. Gaines Digital Collection:

Lloyd Lionel Gaines applied to the University of Missouri School of Law in 1936. In spite of an outstanding scholastic record, Gaines was denied admission based solely on the grounds that Missouri’s Constitution called for “separate education of the races.” By state law, Missouri would have been required to pay for Gaines to attend the universities in Iowa, Kansas or Nebraska, but Gaines was determined to fight for the right to attend law school in his own state. He sought legal assistance from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which had been working systematically to overturn the ignominious precedent of “separate but equal” established in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896. Together, they challenged the University of Missouri’s admissions policies. In 1938, Gaines won his case before the United States Supreme Court in State of Missouri ex rel Gaines v. Canada, paving the way for a series of cases that would lead to the decision in Brown v. Board of Education that outlawed segregation in public education. In March 1939, only three months after his Supreme Court victory, Lloyd Gaines was last seen in Chicago, IL. He disappeared at age 28 with his promise of attending law school in Missouri unfulfilled. Lloyd Gaines was never to be seen or heard from again.

Michael Middleton is a professor emeritus on the law school faculty and currently serves as interim president of the University of Missouri System. Chuck Henson is a trial practice professor of law on the law school faculty and serves as the interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity at the University of Missouri. The panel on which they will participate will be held on April 23 at 1:30 p.m. in Windsor Auditorium on the Stephens College campus. Gary Kremer from The State Historical Society of Missouri will moderate the panel, which will also feature the book’s two authors, James Endersby and William Horner.

Senator McCaskill will discuss her book on April 23 at noon, also in Windsor Auditorium on the Stephens College campus.

According to the Unbound Book Festival’s website, its goal is to “celebrate literature of all kinds” by bringing “nationally-recognized and bestselling authors across many different genres” to Columbia. It will be held on April 22 and 23.

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