A Valuable Lesson

Your 1968 photo [Fall 2000, p. 27] of members of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) brings back memories. The student in the foreground is Robert Belt, Class of 1970 and one of my housemates. The BLSA met with Dean Bok to complain that the construction crew for a new Law School building contained no black workers. One night the BLSA, joined by others, decided to protest by staying in Langdell Library after closing hours–a “study-in” similar to a “sit-in.” The Law School administration responded by ordering coffee and pastry and calling in the faculty to join the students in spirited discussion. Then the administration managed to get the construction crew integrated. This was a case study of sophisticated and gracious handling of a situation that could have turned into more serious strife–a lesson as valuable as any that we learned in class.