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Hastie, William Henry, 1904-1976


William Hastie was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and moved to Washington, D.C., where he attended Dunbar High School. He graduated from Amherst College in 1925 and taught public school in New Jersey for two years. He received his law degree from Howard University in 1930. Hastie helped found the New Negro Alliance in 1933 and worked with the N.A.A.C.P. on civil rights cases. He was the first black federal judge and the first black governor of the Virgin Islands. He also served as dean of Howard University Law School, civilian aide to the Secretary of War, and as a member of President Franklin Roosevelt’s “Black Cabinet.” He received the Spingarn Medal in 1943.

In Black and White . Ed. Mary Mace Spradling. Vol.1. 3 rd ed. Gale Research: Detroit, 1980. p.416.

Wallenstein, Peter . “Hastie, William Henry.” American National Biography. February 2000. http://www.anb.org/articles/11/11-00392.html. 1 April, 2005.


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