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William L. Taylor Civil Rights Audio Recordings

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William Lewis Taylor (October 4, 1931–June 28, 2010) was a lawyer and civil rights activist whose career spanned an extraordinary period in American civil rights history, from 1954 to his death in 2010 at age 78. Taylor began his career working for Thurgood Marshall at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, assisting with civil rights cases in the wake of the Supreme Court's landmark 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education. In 1958, Taylor helped write the NAACP legal brief that persuaded the Supreme Court to require schools to comply with the Brown decision.

In the 1960s, as general counsel and staff director for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in the Johnson administration, he led the investigations into racial discrimination that laid the groundwork for the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the 1968 Fair Housing Act. He went on to found his own civil rights organizations, first the Center for National Policy Review at Catholic University, and later the Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights, where he focused on the implementation of federal civil rights laws and on school desegregation litigation.

These audio recordings capture interviews, oral histories, and conferences featuring William L. Taylor. Many are from radio call-in programs such as the Diane Rehm Show, Talk of the Nation, the Larry King Show, the Kojo Nnamdi Show, and the Jim Bohannon Show. Topics of discussion include school desegregation, civil rights legislation, voting rights legislation, and Taylor's book, Passion of my Times. They date from 1975 to 2005.

For more information about this collection, see the finding aid.

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