Legal Expert to Discuss Constitution, Slavery, Equality during April 18 TU Lecture

Sunday, April 08, 2007

 Published on 4/8/07

An upcoming public lecture at The University of Tulsa will examine historical and contemporary relationships between the U.S. Constitution, slavery and equality.

Paul Finkelman, the President William McKinley Professor of Law and Public Policy and Senior Fellow in the Government Law Center at Albany Law School, will deliver his remarks at 8 p.m., Wednesday, April 18, at TU’s Sharp Memorial Chapel. His presentation, entitled “A Covenant with Death: The Constitution, Slavery, and the Problem of Equality in America,” is the seventh annual Buck Franklin Memorial Lecture as part of TU’s Presidential Lecture Series.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Finkelman previously served as the Chapman Distinguished Professor of Law at TU’s College of Law and was the founder of the Buck Franklin Memorial Lecture series. A specialist in American legal history, race and the law, Finkelman has edited or authored more than 20 books, 100 articles and 80 book reviews, as well as numerous essays in newspapers and other non-scholarly publications such as USA Today and The New York Times. His writing focuses on the law of American slavery, the First Amendment, American race relations, the U.S. Constitution, freedom of religion, and baseball and the law.

Finkelman was the chief expert witness in the high-profile Alabama Ten Commandments monument case in 2003. He also served as the expert witness for the plaintiff in Popov v. Hayashi, the case that determined the rightful owner of Barry Bonds’ record-setting 73rd home run ball in 2001.

Special guest John Hope Franklin, the son of the lecture series’ namesake, is expected to attend Finkelman’s presentation. John Hope Franklin will receive on April 19 the Legacy Award from the Greenwood Cultural Center to honor his life of scholarship, achievement and accomplishment.

As one of the most revered and honored American historians today, John Hope Franklin’s research and writings on American history, slavery, and antebellum and post-war South have greatly influenced subsequent history research and teaching. A native Tulsan, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1978, served as chairman of the advisory board for former President Bill Clinton’s One America: The President’s Initiative on Race and was recently the subject of the film “First Person Singular: John Hope Franklin” featured on PBS.

The Buck Franklin Memorial Civil Rights Lecture honors the memory of one of Oklahoma’s most important civil rights figures. Buck Colbert Franklin began practicing law in 1908, the year after Oklahoma’s statehood, and became one of Oklahoma’s first black attorneys. In the immediate aftermath of the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, Buck Franklin worked with riot victims, bringing numerous suits on their behalf. He helped prevent the city government from forcing blacks out of Tulsa and won a court decision striking down an ordinance designed to prevent blacks from rebuilding their Tulsa homes. He remained active as a Tulsa attorney until 1960.

The University of Tulsa’s Presidential Lecture Series was founded in effort to bring world-class speakers to Tulsa and to enrich discussion in the arts and sciences. The lecture is free and open to the public.

For more information on the lecture, call (918) 631-2555.