Tomiko
Brown-Nagin

Dean, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University
Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School
Professor of History, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Chair, Presidential Committee on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery

Featured Book Talk

Dean Brown-Nagin in conversation with Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. about her new book, Civil Rights Queen, hosted by Harvard Radcliffe Institute in February 2022.

Featured Interview

Dean Brown-Nagin speaks with Lester Holt and Savannah Guthrie on NBC News Now during Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirming hearing in March 2022.

Featured Interview

Dean Brown-Nagin speaks with PBS NewsHour about Civil Rights Queen in February 2022.

Featured Event

Dean Brown-Nagin speaks with Washington Post Congressional reporter Rhonda Colvin about Civil Rights Queen in February 2022.

Featured Resources

Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality

Brown-Nagin’s new book and the first major biography of one of our most influential but least known activist lawyers provides an eye-opening account of the twin struggles for gender equality and civil rights in the 20th century. Brown-Nagin’s book tour dates can be found on this page. Click here to order a copy of Civil Rights Queen today.

Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement

In this Bancroft Prize-winning history of the Civil Rights movement in Atlanta from the end of World War II to 1980, Brown-Nagin shows that long before “black power” emerged and gave black dissent from the mainstream civil rights agenda a name, African Americans in Atlanta questioned the meaning of equality and the steps necessary to obtain a share of the American dream.

Harvard Magazine | “Both Sides Now”

For an overview of Dean Brown-Nagin’s work, see “Both Sides Now: Tomiko Brown-Nagin’s bifocal view of the civil-rights movement,” a recent profile by Harvard Magazine.

In the News | Civil Rights Queen

“Illuminating…thoughtful…Civil Rights Queen is the result of diligent research…poignant… a balanced assessment of a brave and brilliant woman who helped to reconfigure the system before she became a part of it….Brown-Nagin honors her subject by being resolutely direct and unsentimental — steely, if you will.” New York Times

Click here to read “‘Civil Rights Queen,’ the Story of a Brave and Brilliant Trailblazer” in The New York Times.

Washington Post | “Here is a hard historical truth: Slavery powerfully shaped Harvard” (Opinion)

CNN | “Ketanji Brown Jackson is the beginning, not the end, of this story” (Opinion)

Oprah Daily | “Constance Baker Motley, Civil Rights Queen, Paved the Way for Ketanji Brown Jackson” (Opinion)

Slate | “The Right to Counsel Shouldn’t Be Controversial: Ketanji Brown Jackson’s past is an asset, not a liability (Opinion)

Washington Post | “A Black lawyer who dismantled barriers, for herself and many others” (Review)

POLITICO | “This Black Woman Could Have Served on the Supreme Court Decades Ago. She Has Some Lessons for Ketanji Brown Jackson (Opinion)

Connecticut Post | “Connecticut and Constance Baker Motley, civil rights giant (Opinion)

Smithsonian Magazine | “Constance Baker Motley Taught the Nation How to Win Justice The pathbreaking lawyer and “Civil Rights Queen” was the first Black woman to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court

WNYC | Melissa Harris-Perry and Dorian Warrem speak with Brown-Nagin aboutThe Life and Legacy of Constance Baker Motley” during an episode of The Takeaway.

WNYC | Alison Stewart speaks with Brown-Nagin about Civil Rights Queen during an episode of All Of It.

NPR | Steve Inskeep speaks with Brown-Nagin about about Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s judicial philosophy during an episode of Morning Edition.

NPR | Ailsa Chang speaks with Brown-Nagin about Ketanji Brown Jackson as Supreme Court nominee during an episode of All Things Considered.

NPR | Terry Gross speaks with Brown-Nagin about Constance Baker Motley during an episode of Fresh Air.

NPR | Ailsa Chang speaks with Brown-Nagin about Constance Baker Motley during an episode of All Things Considered.

NPR | Karen Grigsby Bates speaks with Brown-Nagin about Constance Baker Motley during an episode of Code Switch.

NPR | Sandhya Dirks interviews Brown-Nagin: “A Black woman on the High Court is a good start. But representation has limits.

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