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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.

The Harvard BlackLetter Law Journal (BLJ) focuses on struggles against anti-Blackness and challenges ideas about who can legitimately produce knowledge related to law. The Journal features work by people writing from many different experiences, on a range of topics, and in a variety of forms, including poetry, essays, visual art, songs, and other forms of expression. BLJ, therefore, publishes work by and for activists, artists, currently and formerly incarcerated people, lawyers, professors, and many others.

As BLJ looks beyond the status quo, it also looks backward to our Journal’s history and to longer traditions of Black radicalism. We honor and extend the mission at BLJ’s founding in 1983 to challenge anti-Blackness, participate in activism around knowledge production, and engage collective struggle for liberation. 

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“The history of blackness is a testament to the fact that objects can and do resist.” – Fred Moten

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, wsheinco@class.org. 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 harvardblj@gmail.com. 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

OUR HISTORY

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.

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...

Volume 22

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...

Volume 21

50th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education Excerpt from All Deliberate Speed: “The Significance of Brown” (see also footnotes) Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. Reparations Symposium Norms, Law, and Reparations: The Case of the Ku Klux Klan in 1920s Oklahoma Alfred L....

Volume 20

50th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education Excerpt from All Deliberate Speed: “The Significance of Brown” (see also footnotes) Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. Reparations Symposium Norms, Law, and Reparations: The Case of the Ku Klux Klan in 1920s Oklahoma Alfred L....

Volume 19

Law and Education: Affirmative Action Under Attack The Struggle for Access from Sweatt to Grutter: A History of African American, Latino, and American Indian Law School Admissions, 1950–2000 William C. Kidder Integrating Elite Law Schools and the Legal Profession: A...

Volume 18

Critical Race Theory: New Strategies for Civil Rights in the New Millennium? Bernie D. Jones, Ph.D. candidate, History Department, University of Virginia The Rhetoric of Resistance: Islamism, Modernity, and Globalization Aliya Haider, J.D. candidate, Harvard Law...

Volume 17

In Memoriam: David A. Charny In Memoriam Peter J. Keith In Memoriam Sharon Dolovich Interactions at Work: Remembering David Charny Devon W. Carbado and Mitu Gulati Symposium: Border People and Antidiscrimination Law Introduction R. Richard Banks American Mixed Race:...

Volume 16

In Memoriam: A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. Remembering Leon Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University A Man for All Seasons F. Michael Higginbotham, University of Baltimore School of Law The Complicated Ingredients of Wisdom and Leadership Michael A. Fitts, University of...

Volume 15

In Memoriam: Spottswood W. Robinson, III Stephen L. Carter Carol Chomsky Chief Judge Harry T. Edwards Oliver W. Hill Judge Patricia M. Wald Judge Abner J. Mikva Articles: The Categories of Difference Foreword: Categorical Exclusivity Ben Glassman Implementing...