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Book details
  • Genre:BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY
  • SubGenre:Historical
  • Language:English
  • Pages:192
  • Format:Paperback
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098346249

Remembering Florence Victoria Lucas, Civil Rights Pioneer

An Authorized Biography

by Freda Bein Muldoon

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Overview

Florence Victoria Lucas, 1915-1987, was the first Black woman admitted to the practice of law in Queens, New York, in 1940. She came from poor working class parents who supported her ambitions with their only assets: their love and their faith in God. She was mentored by other civil rights pioneers, including Thurgood Marshall, Jane Bolin, Sarah Speaks, Walter Gellhorn and Elmer Carter. In turn, Florence Victoria Lucas mentored many others who followed her lead into politics and law. As a lawyer, she organized the largest chapter of the NAACP in Queens, NY and spearheaded the growth of the civil rights movement throughout New York State. She was the first Black woman to be nominated by a major political party for election to the New York City Council. She was appointed to the New York State Commission on Human Rights as second in command, from 1966-75; helped to re-write the State's civil rights' law and design the administrative hearing process. She was a member of the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church, a Sunday school teacher and choir director who wrote the words to a complex anthem about the civil rights movement, and a tireless fighter for brotherhood, racial and religious harmony.

Description

Florence Victoria Lucas, 1915-1987, was the first Black woman admitted to the practice of law in Queens, New York, in 1940. She came from poor working class parents who supported her ambitions with their most precious assets: their love and their faith in God. She was mentored by other civil rights pioneers, including Thurgood Marshall, Jane Bolin, Sarah Speaks, Walter Gellhorn and Elmer Carter. In turn, Florence Victoria Lucas mentored and assisted many others who followed her lead into politics and law. As a lawyer, she organized the largest chapter of the NAACP in Queens, NY and spearheaded the growth of the civil rights movement throughout New York State. She was the first Black woman to be nominated by a major political party for election to the New York City Council. She served as second-in-command of the New York State Commission on Human Rights from 1966-75; helped to re-write New York State's civil rights' law, and design the administrative hearing process. She was a member of the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church, a Sunday school teacher, a choir director and lyricist, who wrote the words to a complex anthem about the civil rights movement, and a tireless fighter for brotherhood, racial and religious harmony. Part One of this book is a memoir of Florence Lucas, telling how, despite rigid de facto segregation in 1959, she bravely reached across racial and religious lines to rescue one troubled white teenager (the author). Part Two traces Florence Lucas' life and work chronologically, through her own papers and in her own words: her tenacious journey through poverty and discrimination to gain an education, and her principled foray into law practice and the civil rights movement. In each of her activities, she exemplifies, as Thurgood Marshall once said of her, what one American woman can do through unselfish work in the interest of equality and justice for all. 

About the author

Freda Bein Muldoon is a retired lawyer and law teacher. Her previous publications include several law review articles and a textbook compilation of legal cases and materials. In 1987, the author was asked by her Godmother, Florence Victoria Lucas, to write this biography. Part One of this book tells how, in 1959, Florence Victoria Lucas, then a successful lawyer and leader of the civil rights movement in New York, reached across racial and religious barriers, to rescue one troubled white teenager (the author of this book), from a dark street in the middle of the night, providing her with her first home and family. Part Two is a chronological biography of Florence Victoria Lucas' life, her struggle through poverty to gain an education, her leadership of the civil rights movement in New York, and her many professional and personal accomplishments, all as culled from Florence Victoria Lucas' home office papers.

Book Reviews

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Kathleen
Remembering Florence Victoria Lucas, Civil Rights Pioneer An inspiring and enjoyable book! Florence Victoria Lucas was certainly a VERY amazing woman - both in her personal integrity and professional life! Her humility, patience and perseverance in the face of injustice is so inspiring. What a role model for all of us! Part One was a real glimpse into the pain and challenges of the author's personal life. FVL's unconditional love, kindness and forbearance with this wounded teen was exceptional - God provided a safe haven for Freda in the Lucas home. Read more
KATHY
Remembering Florence Victoria Lucas This is a moving story of humanity, hardship, and resilience, beautifully written. Read more
Freda
"Remembering Florence Victoria Lucas," Review by Dr. Suzanne Doherty, Author and Educator BOOK REVIEW BY DR. SUZANNE DOHERTY, AUTHOR AND EDUCATOR. Florence Victoria Lucas (1915-1987) was a civil rights pioneer. She made her mark as the first Black woman admitted to the practice of law in Queens, New York in 1940. She was accomplished and respected in her unrelenting passion for equality. She was the daughter of supportive and loving, poor working class parents. Her contributions to the civil rights movement are immeasurable. Some include: being second in command of the New York State Commission on Human Rights from 1966-75; assisting in the re-writing of New York State's civil rights' law; and designing the administrative hearing process. Florence fought tirelessly for brotherhood, racial and religious harmony and reached out to make countless improvements for others both professionally and personally. Her mentors included Thurgood Marshall, Jane Bolin, Sarah Speaks Walter Gellhorn and Elmer Carter. Author Freda Bein Muldoon chronicles the impressive achievements of her Godmother, Florence Lucas, as a humanitarian, distinguished attorney, advocate, and mentor. Journals, notes, newspaper clippings, personal papers and many other sources enrich this remarkable story. In her own distinctive way, author Muldoon, an attorney and law teacher, makes you feel as if you have known Florence Lucas for a long time as a cherished friend. Remembering Florence Victoria Lucas Civil Rights Pioneer is a beautifully crafted account of how one extraordinary woman influenced the world and made life better for so many. Read more
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