Renowned African American historian Calobe Jackson spoke to students, staff, and faculty on Widener Law’s Harrisburg campus as part of a special Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration held on Thursday, January 20, 2011.
Mr. Jackson spoke in the pit for forty-five minutes about African American lawyer Stewart Davis, who graduated from Dickinson School of Law as the school’s first Valedictorian of color. As part of the presentation, Mr. Jackson passed around a picture of Davis from his Dickinson yearbook and a short article about him.
After Davis left the army, he moved to Maryland and built up a thriving practice in Baltimore. His legal career put him in the spotlight and he was embraced in social circles. Jackson explained that Davis drew crowds to the courtroom and forty-eight of his cases appeared in a Baltimore newspaper.
Davis once said, “The law offers a most attractive spot for colored men. They receive a fair show in the courts and they appreciate our efforts.”
On April 15, 1920 Davis left his home and never arrived at his office. There are many theories as to his disappearance but to this day no one knows what happened to him.
Following Mr. Jackson’s talk, professors and students kept up an annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration tradition by sharing their views on Martin Luther King Jr. and diversity.
Professor Michael Cozzillio
recounted stories that his children had told, and Professor Tonya Evans
encouraged students and faculty in attendance to engage with people of different backgrounds.