Wayne Law Professors Named Finalists for Next Generation Indie Book Award

Professor Peter J. Hammer and Professor Emeritus Edward Littlejohn were named finalists in the category of African American History/Culture for their book, "No Equal Justice": The Legacy of Civil Rights Icon George W. Crockett Jr., (Wayne State University Press). 

The book begins by tracing the Crockett family history from slavery to George’s admission into the University of Michigan Law School. He became one of the most senior Black lawyers in President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal administration. Later, he played a central role in fighting discrimination in the United Auto Workers union. In 1949, he became the only Black lawyer, in a team of five attorneys, defending the constitutional rights of the leaders of the U.S. Communist Party in United States v. Dennis, the longest and most dramatic political trial in American history. At the close of the case, Crockett and his defense colleagues were summarily sentenced to prison for zealously representing their clients.

He headed the National Lawyers Guild office in Jackson, Mississippi, during 1964’s Freedom Summer. In 1966, he was elected to Detroit’s Recorder’s Court—the court hearing all criminal cases in the city. For the first time, Detroit had a courtroom where Black litigants knew they would be treated fairly. In 1969, the New Bethel Church Incident was Crockett’s most famous case. He held court proceeding in the police station itself, freeing members of a Black nationalist group who had been illegally arrested. In 1980, he was elected to the United States Congress where he spent a decade fighting President Reagan’s agenda, as well as working to end Apartheid in South Africa and championing the cause to free Nelson Mandela.

Crockett spent his life fighting racism and defending the constitutional rights of the oppressed. This book introduces him to a new generation of readers, historians, and social justice activists.

The Next Generation Indie Book Awards is the largest International awards program for indie authors and independent publishers. In its seventeenth year of operation, the Next Generation Indie Book Awards was established to recognize and honor the most exceptional independently published books in 80+ different categories, for the year, and is presented by Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group  in cooperation with Marilyn Allen of Allen Literary Agency (formerly the Allen O'Shea Literary Agency).

No Equal Justice has previously won:a State History Award--Presented by the Historical Society of Michigan, was a Gold medalist in the category of Biography by The Midwest Book Awards, was a Silver winner in the category of Biography by the Foreword Indies Book Awards, and Gold medalist in the category of Biography at the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs). 

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