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Harper Lee inspired millions to fight for racial justice

Harper Lee died today.

Her brilliant portrayal of one man’s stand against racial injustice in the Deep South helped inspire me, and many others, to become a civil rights lawyer.

And her depiction of a great evil in America moved millions of others to fight for justice at a crucial time in our nation’s history.

One of my most cherished possessions is an autographed copy of To Kill a Mockingbird. This was her generous inscription:

inscription from Harper Lee


You will be remembered as the one who spoke when good men

remained silent, and the one who acted when good men

did nothing – you changed our lives.

Harper Lee

My colleagues and I have done our best to live up to her expectations. But we all owe a great debt to Ms. Lee.

I think she would agree that, today, there is still so much more work to be done. We must continue to search within ourselves for the courage to stand strong in the face of bigotry and injustice.