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About BlackLetter

Our Work

Originally founded in 1983 as an internal publication of the Black Law Students Association, the Harvard BlackLetter Law Journal—known from 2009 to 2018 as the Harvard Journal on Racial & Ethnic Justice—is an annual publication edited by students at Harvard Law School.

The Harvard BlackLetter Law Journal is a forum for activists, lawyers, those who are or who have been incarcerated, scholars, and others to confront cutting-edge issues facing Black communities.




We adopt Charlene A. Carruthers’s definition of anti-blackness: “a system of beliefs and practices that destroy, erode, and dictate the humanity of Black people.”

About Us

Subscriptions include a copy of the most recent volume, a special invitation to all events including our annual symposium, and periodic updates through our email list. View prices and subscribe through the Harvard Law School student journals office.

Past volumes are available exclusively from William S. Hein & Co., Inc., 1285 Main Street, Buffalo, NY, 14209, 1-800-828-7571, Contact William S. Hein & Co. for information on prices for bound volumes.

To request copyright permissions for the journal, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center.

Manuscripts may be submitted for review at In addition to the full text, authors should submit a current CV and an optional cover letter. Footnotes should conform to The Bluebook (20th ed. 2015). We look forward to hearing from you!

Editorial Staff 2019-2020

Julian Nunally, Editor-in-Chief
Felipe Hernandez, Managing Editor
Libby Bova, Executive Board Coordinator
Audrey Berdahl-Baldwin, Executive Editor
Kennedi Williams-Libert, Executive Editor
Amanda Chan, Online Editor
Vail Kohnert-Yount, Online Editor
Jason Collin, Editor
Emily Chazen, Editor
James Ramsey, Editor
Jackie Salwa, Editor
Dylan Victor Asafo Jr., Editor
Lilianna Rembar, Editor
Oliva Castor, Editor
Erick Hannah, Editor
Kearney Coghlan, Editor
Tyler Ambrose, Editor
Zoe Russell, Editor
James Payne, Editor
Sean Lau, Editor
Nnamdi Jogwe, Editor
Kara Cobb, Editor


What is now the BlackLetter Law Journal, used to be the Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice which originally started as the Blackletter, a community newsletter for Black students at Harvard Law School. 

In 1975, Blackletter was founded as a community newsletter for Black students at HLS. The project was supported by then-BLSA-President Loretta Argrett, as part of her effort to lead BLSA in doing more community service projects. (Ogletree, From Dred Scott to Barack Obama: The Ebb and Flow of Race Jurisprudence, 7)

Then, in the early 1980s, Blackletter puts activism “at the heart and soul of the blacks students’ agenda” by reflecting the pressing issues Blacks on campus fought for at the time, such as faculty diversity. It also played a role in forming the first-ever HLS Black Alumni Association (Ogletree, From Dred Scott to Barack Obama: The Ebb and Flow of Race Jurisprudence, 7)

In the mid-1980s, the newsletter transitioned into a full-fledged academic journal: The Blackletter Law Journal. It maintained a strong focus on the Harvard community and its surroundings


In 1984, The Blackletter Law Journal was founded. It was affiliated with BLSA, and focused on critical legal theory, racial justice writing, and topics like affirmative action. (Harvard Law Record, October 5 1973). The Journal focused on creating a forum for writing, dialogue on issues affecting Black community, with the aim of promoting racial equality. It also included info on meetings, public events, political events, speakers, social events, job opportunities, Big Brother/Big Sister events. (Ogletree, Harvard Blackletter Journal: Celebrating a Decade of Excellence, 2). 

Read the full history of the Blackletter Law Journal here! 

Support innovative legal scholarship on racial and ethnic justice.
JREJ Critical Race Theory Symposium

JREJ Critical Race Theory Symposium

The Harvard Journal on Racial & Ethnic Justice is proud to present its annual symposium on critical race theory in academia and action.  The symposium is free and open to the public. Sign up for a coffee chat with Tanya Hernandez here. To assist us in estimating...

Now Accepting Article Submissions for 2016-17!

Now Accepting Article Submissions for 2016-17!

Whether one calls it modern day slavery or the new Jim Crow, mass incarceration represents the most recent dynamic mechanism by which the state exercises controls over black and brown bodies in the name of justice. The term encompasses  more than the wild racial...

JREJ Hosts Spring Symposium

JREJ Hosts Spring Symposium

The Harvard Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice (JREJ) is hosted its spring symposium, “The Legal Status of Racial Power: A Retrospective of ‘Whiteness as Property'” on Wednesday, April 8that 12 – 2PM. The event was located at Harvard Law School in Milstein West and...

Still Separate, Still Unequal

Still Separate, Still Unequal

The Harvard Journal of Racial and Ethnic Justice (JREJ) recently published its first online volume. It consists of material first presented at JREJ’s Spring 2014 Symposium: “40 Years After Milliken: Remedying Racial Disparities in a ‘Post-Racial Society.’”  The 1974...

Volume 28

Storytelling and Political Resistance: Remembering Derrick Bell (with a story about tlton Trumbo) Martha Minow Separate, Unequal, and Seeking Support Meera E. Deo Derrick Bell: Godfather Provocateur andre douglas pond cummings  “Other Spaces” in Legal Pedagogy Lolita...

Volume 27

Racial Reconciliation in Mississippi: An Evaluation of the Proposal to Establish a Mississippi Truth and Reconciliation Commission Patryk Labuda The Griswold 9 and Student Activism for Faculty Diversity at Harvard Law School in the Early 1990s Philip Lee Respecting...

Volume 25

Beyond the Final Frontier: A “Post-Racial” America? Anniversary Forewords: The Role of the Journal, Then and Now Letter from the Editor in Chief Jay Adejumoke-Jagun Osha From Dred Scott to Barack Obama: The Ebb and Flow of Race Jurisprudence Charles J. Ogletree, Jr...

Volume 24

Introduction Kevin D. Brown Lessons Learned from Comparing the Application of Constitutional Law and Federal Anti-Discrimination Law to African-Americans in the U.S. and Dalits in India in the Context of Higher Education (Article) Kevin D. Brown and Vinay Sitapati...

Volume 23

Why Civil Rights Lawyers Should Study Tax Stephen Cohen and Laura Sager Confronting Racists at the Bar: Matthew Hale, Moral Character, and Regulating the Marketplace of Ideas Jason O. Billy The Consistency of Felon Disenfranchisement with Citizenship Theory Jason...