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Race and Anti-Racism

This guide provides a range of resources available for you to learn more about race, racism, justice, and the rule of law.


Law libraries across Texas have devoted collections to issues on race and anti-racism. This page mentions a few Texas law libraries and their notable collections including:

Tarlton Law Library Collections

The First African American Graduates of University of Texas at Austin School of Law 

Heman Sweatt, Jacob Carruthers, Elwin Jarmon, Virgil Lott, Dudley Redd, and George Washington, Jr. enrolled at the University of Texas School of Law in September 1950 as the first six African American students at the University of Texas School of Law. Although only Virgil Lott and George Washington, Jr. finished their course of study at the School of Law, the school's first six African American students paved the way for many future students. 

The Tarlton Law Library maintains the research guide below on the first African American graduates of UT School of Law. 

The Papers of Justice Tom C. Clark, Civil Liberties and Civil Rights Cases of the US Supreme Court

Tarlton Law Library maintains access to the Tom C. Clark Papers, which contain a comprehensive record of Justice Clark's activities as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, public servant, and advocate for improved judicial administration. The Tom C. Clark Papers were donated to the Tarlton Law Library by Mrs. Tom C. Clark in 1977. A detailed finding aid to the collection is available online.

The collection contains his papers on cases regarding civil rights topics, notably:

Use the guide linked below to aid your research. 

University of Texas at Austin Collections

Sweatt v. Painter Collection 

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.  

This guide linked below 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 Briscoe Center for American History.

Texas State Law Library Collections

Texas State Law Library 

The Texas State Law Library is a public library available to Texas residents and agency employees for free. The library maintains a large digital collection that is accessible through their website and library catalog. The collections mentioned below are specific to topics on race and the law. 

Civil Rights & Discrimination Collection 

Texas State Law Library's materials on civil rights and discrimination. Use this link to browse and access free online resources regarding civil rights and discrimination.

Race and the Law Collection 

Texas State Law Library's materials on race and the law. Use this link to browse and access free online resources regarding race and the law.

Other Law School Resources in Texas

Thurgood Marshall Digital Collection 

Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law maintains a digital collection of documents and photographs detailing the history of the law school and university. It also contains the W.J. Durham Papers. W.J. Durham represented Heman Sweatt with Thurgood Marshall in Sweatt v. Painter. To access the collection, visit the library's Digital Collection linked below. 

J.L. Turner Sr. Papers 

Southern Methodist University (SMU) Dedman School of Law maintains a collection of the papers of J.L. Turner Sr., a pioneering African-American Dallas attorney. To access the collection visit the library's website linked below.

Black Lawyers Matter: Building Inclusive Excellence in Legal Education and Employment 

The University of Houston Law Center and the SMU Dedman School of Law hosts a annual virtual conference that discusses how law schools and the legal profession can foster cultures, structure, and practices that promote inclusion and equity. You can view the recordings of the conference on their website linked below.