Friday, February 28, 2014

The Black Portia

Charlotte E. Ray

January 13, 1850/New York City, New York

January 04, 1911/Woodside, New York

Lawyer, educator, African-American civil and women’s rights activist

What Makes Her Bitchin’:
In 1872, Charlotte E. Ray graduated from the Howard University School of Law, subsequently becoming the first African-American female lawyer. The first woman admitted to the District of Columbia Bar, Charlotte struggled against persistent discrimination due to her gender and race. Unable to draw a steady stream of clients, she practiced law for only a couple of years. Charlotte eventually relocated to New York City where she became a teacher.

Betcha’ Didn’t Know:
Charlotte was the first woman permitted to argue cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

For more about this litigating lady, check-out :

Charlotte E. Ray (

Ray, Charlotte E. (1850-1911) (

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