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DC's Civil Rights Champions: Charles T. Duncan


This Black History Month, the DC Bar Foundation is recognizing three Black civil rights champions in DC whose work may not be widely known.


Today, we feature Charles T. Duncan.


Civil rights attorney Charles T. Duncan (1924-2004) became the first African-American president of the DC Bar in 1973. He served on the DC Bar Foundation Board of Directors from 1978 to 1985 and was President of the Board in 1979, 1982, and 1985.


He worked on the second brief presented to the US Supreme Court in the case of Brown v. Board of Education and, as a nod to the Court’s decision, ruling outlawing segregated schools "with all deliberate speed," named his sailboat “Deliberate Speed.”


Duncan was the first general counsel of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and served as Dean of Howard University School of Law from 1974 to 1977. He believed in fostering change from within the system.


You may learn more about Mr. Duncan's personal and professional life in his official Washington Post obituary.

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