Oral History Project: Brian Landsberg

Brian K. Landsberg, a professor emeritus at the McGeorge School of Law where he has been teaching since 1986, served during the 1960s as an attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he went to court to protect the voting rights of African Americans in Alabama.

His work included the historic case that recognized the right to march from Selma to Montgomery to protest racial discrimination in voter registration.

Those experiences ultimately became the basis of his book, Free at Last to Vote: The Alabama Origins of the Voting Rights Act.

Landsberg also worked on some of the first cases to desegregate public accommodations and on litigation targeting fair employment and housing. As chief of the Justice Department’s Education Section, he helped litigate the cases that transformed the schools of the Deep South from the most segregated into the most integrated schools in the nation by the mid-1970’s.

He later became chief of the DoJ’s Appellate Section, arguing cases in federal appellate courts throughout the country, as well as working on Supreme Court briefs in seminal civil rights cases.

Click here to see the two-part interview with Landsberg, along with the transcripts.

The interviews are part of the Open California Oral History Project.

The interview was conducted by Mary Louise Frampton, director of the Aoki Center for
Critical Race and Nation Studies at the UC Davis School of Law. Frampton has a long career as a civil rights attorney.


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