Today, controversies on public campuses often pit champions of freedom of expression against champions of racial justice—but what is the history behind this tension? Courts initially recognized First Amendment protections for students in the Deep South during the 1950s and ’60s in order to protect black students fighting against Jim Crow regimes. Constitutional scholar Randall Kennedy revisits the origins of federal constitutional rights for students.
Randall Kennedy is Michael R. Klein Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the author of the forthcoming book From Protest to Law: Triumphs and Defeats of the Black Revolts, 1948–1968.
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