Independent Historian

Novelle Key is an undergraduate at the University of Washington’s Seattle campus and will be graduating with the class of 2018. She is majoring in political science and minoring in diversity. After graduation Novelle intends to pursue a graduate degree. She is from Tacoma, Washington, where she attended Tacoma Community College through the Running Start program prior to attending UW. Novelle became a contributing writer for Black Past while taking Professor Quintard Taylor’s history class on African Americans in the American West.

Louis B. Butler, Jr. (1952- )

Louis Bennett Butler, Jr. became the first black justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2004 and served on the court until 2008. Butler also became Wisconsin’s first Public Defender to ever argue before the United States Supreme Court in 1988 during the trial of McCoy v. Wisconsin Court of … Read MoreLouis B. Butler, Jr. (1952- )

Otis M. Smith (1922-1994)

Otis Milton Smith became the first black justice on the Michigan Supreme Court in 1961, and served on the court until 1966. Smith was also the first black corporate officer of the General Motors Corporation, where he worked as general counsel, vice president, and leading attorney between 1966 and 1984. Smith … Read MoreOtis M. Smith (1922-1994)