The Virginia General Assembly is replacing the statue of Robert E. Lee that adorns the Old House Chamber.

In its stead, I would propose the name of Dred Scott, a native Virginian and a slave, who filed the lawsuit, Dred Scott v. Sanford, decided in 1857, in which the U. S. Supreme Court said that Blacks had no rights that Whites had to respect.

That case was the legal basis for the arguments by Thurgood Marshall, Spottswood Robinson, et al. in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Scott’s plaintive cry was, “Am I not a man?”

Scott’s cry echoes through many of the halls of justice today as a reminder of how far we have come and how far we have to go in order to attain full equality.

Stay tuned.

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