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February 2007

Law Library Acquires Papers of Baltimore Civic Activist Lena Lee

The Thurgood Marshall Law Library, The University of Maryland School of Law is pleased to announce the acquisition of the papers of long time Maryland political activist, lawyer and legislator Lena Lee (1906-2006). Lee was a member of the law school class of 1951 and was the third African-American woman to graduate from the law school. She also bears the honor of being the first female African-American lawyer elected to the Maryland General Assembly in 1967. As one of the founders of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus her influence in the Assembly was great and the late Pete Rawlings, Delegate from Baltimore City, once said that when Lee rose to speak "she was like E.F. Hutton…everyone stopped what they were doing to listen. She never wasted words, she was very clear, and she spoke out on what was unfair to the African-American community." After she left the General Assembly Ms. Lee served on a number of Maryland and Baltimore City boards including the City Redevelopment Board and the Urban Renewal and Housing Commission. In 2006 Congressman Elijah Cummings led the effort to have the U.S. Post Office at 1826 Pennsylvania Avenue named in her honor (http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS69550). The collection helps to document the role that African American legal practitioners played in Maryland and Baltimore politics.

The papers, consisting of both personal and professional materials, will be inventoried and arranged for use as part of the Library's African-Americans in the Law project. For more information about the Lena Lee materials contact Bill Sleeman, Assistant Director for Technical Services, Thurgood Marshall Law Library. 410-706-0783 or mailto:bsleeman@law.umaryland.edu

Telegram response from Eleanor Roosevelt regarding a luncheon organized by Lee for African American Women

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