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Sweatt v. Painter

Research guide

Heman Sweatt and Sweatt v. Painter

The case of Sweatt v. Painter was a pivotal event in the history of The University of Texas School of Law and in the civil rights movement in the United States. Heman Marion Sweatt (1912-1982), an African American postal worker from Houston, was denied admission to The University of Texas School of Law in 1946. The NAACP's legal team, led by Thurgood Marshall, took the case to the United States Supreme Court, which struck down the system of "separate but equal" graduate school education and provided a precedent for the landmark decision of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.  

About This Guide

This guide is designed to help patrons find materials on the case Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629 (1950). Although the case involved The University of Texas School of Law, Tarlton Law Library does not hold the archives for the case. A selection of sources on Sweatt v. Painter and Heman Sweatt are available in Archives & Special Collections including manuscripts, published works, and oral histories.

Please note: The University archives from this period are housed in The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

Heman Sweatt, an African American man, standing in line among white men waiting to register for classes.

Heman Marion Sweatt registering for classes in the University of Texas School of Law, Sept. 19, 1950.

From the UT Student Publications, Inc., Photographs, c. 1895-1985 (CN00323B), The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin. Used with permission.