Taunya Lovell Banks

Jacob A. France Professor Emeritus of Equality Jurisprudence




(410) 706-3850


(410) 706-6644

Photo of Taunya Lovell Banks


  • BA, 1965, Syracuse University
  • JD, 1968, Howard University

Taunya Lovell Banks is the Jacob A. France Professor of Equality Jurisprudence at the University of Maryland School of Law where she teaches torts, and seminars on law in popular culture (film or literature), citizenship and critical race theory. Prior to entering legal education in 1976, she worked as a civil rights lawyer in Mississippi, litigating voting rights and housing discrimination cases and providing technical assistance to black elected officials. During the 1979-1980 academic year she worked as a senior trial attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Los Angeles, litigating some of the early sexual harassment cases under the interim guidelines.

Professor Banks' most recent publications explore the continuing impact of gender, race, racial formation and racial hierarchies on the quest for social equality. She also writes about law, lawyers and legal issues in film and on television. Earlier publications include several articles and book chapters on legal and public health issues facing women infected with the HIV virus; and an empirical study of gender bias in law school classrooms. She is a contributing co-editor of SCREENING JUSTICE- THE CINEMA OF LAW: FILMS OF LAW, ORDER, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE.

Professor Banks served on the Editorial Board of the JOURNAL OF LEGAL EDUCATION and the advisory committee of the LAW & SOCIETY REVIEW. She is a former member of the Association of American Law Schools’ Executive Committee, and two-term Trustee of the Law School Admissions Council.


Contributing Editor, Screening Justice - The Cinema of Law: Films of Law, Order and Social Justice (2006) (with Rennard Strickland & Teree Foster). Read Full Text.

Book Chapters

Foreword, Predatory Lending and the Destruction of the African-American Dream (Janis Sarra & Cheryl Wade, 2020).

Elizabeth Key, Seventeenth Century Virginia (US), in As If She Were Free: A Collective Biography of Women and Emancipation in the Americas (Erica L. Ball, Tatiana Seijas & Terri L. Snyder eds., 2020).

Commentary, Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Co., 162 N.E. 99 (N.Y. 1928), in Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tort Opinions 27 (Martha Chamallas & Lucinda M. Finley eds., 2020).

Race, Place and Historic Moment: Black and Japanese American World War II Veterans: The G.I. Bill of Rights and the Model Minority Myth, in Minority Relations: Intergroup Conflict and Cooperation (Robert S. Chang & Greg Robinson eds., 2016). Read Full Text.

A Darker Shade of Pale Revisited: Disaggregated Blackness and Colorism in the "Post-Racial" Obama Era, in Color Matters: Skin Tone Bias and the Myth of a Postracial America 95 (Kimberly Jade Norwood ed., 2013).

Dark Justice: Women Legal Actors on Basic Cable, in Law and Justice on the Small Screen 135 (Peter Robson & Jessica Silbey eds., 2012). Read Full Text.

Black Pluralism in Post Loving America, in Loving v. Virginia: Rethinking Race, Sex, and Marriage in a "Post Racial" World (Kevin Noble Maillard & Rose Cuison Villazar eds., 2012). Read Full Text.

Michael Clayton (2007): Women Lawyers Betrayed—Again, in Feminism at the Movies: Understanding Gender and Contemporary Popular Cinema 110 (Hilary Radner & Rebecca Stringer eds., 2011).

Judging the Judges - Daytime Television's Integrated Reality Court Bench, in Lawyers on Television: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly (Michael Asimow ed., 2009) Read Full Text.

Multi-Layered Racism: Courts’ Continued Resistance to Colorism Claims, in Shades of Difference: Why Skin Color Matters (Evelyn Nakano Glenn ed., 2009). Read Full Text.

Equality and Sorority During the Decade after Brown, in Law Touched Our Hearts: A Generation Remembers Brown v. Board of Education 161 (Mildred Wigfall Robinson & Richard J. Bonnie eds., 2009). Read Full Text.

Balancing Competing Individual Constitutional Rights: Raising Some Questions, in Law and Rights: Global Perspectives on Constitutionalism and Governance (Penelope Andrews & Susan Bazilli eds., 2008). Read Full Text.

To Kill a Mockingbird: Lawyering in an Unjust Society, in Screening Justice - The Cinema of Law: Films of Law, Order and Social Justice (Rennard Strickland et al. eds., 2006) Read Full Text.

The Black Side of the Mirror: The Black Body in the Workplace, in Sister Circle: Black Women and Work 13 (Sharon Harley ed., 2002). Read Full Text.


Select Articles. For a complete listing of my publications, see my Selected Works page.

Commemorating the Forgotten Intersection of the Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendments, 94 St. John's Law Review 899 (2022).

Personal Identity Equality and Racial Misrecognition: Review Essay of Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination, 34 Journal of Civil Rights & Economic Development 13 (2021). Read Full Text.

The Disappearing Public Toilet, 50 Seton Hall Law Review 1061 (2020). Read Full Text.

Multiracial Malaise: Multiracial as a Legal Category, 86 Fordham Law Review 2783 (2018). Read Full Text.

Civil Trials: A Film Illusion?, 85 Fordham Law Review 1969 (2017). Read Full Text.

Obama and the Supremes: A Legacy - The Rise of Women's Voices on the Court, 65 Drake Law Review 911 (2017). Read Full Text.

Colorism Among South Asians: Title VII and Skin Tone Discrimination, 14 Washington University Global Studies Law Review 665 (2015). Read Full Text.

Post-Katrina Suppression of Black Working-Class Political Expression, 22 Journal of Public Management & Social Policy, no. 2, art. 2 (2015). Read Full Text.

Still Drowning in Segregation: Limits of Law in Post-Civil Rights America, 32 Law & Inequality 215 (2014). Read Full Text.

The Unfinished Journey - Education, Equality and Martin Luther King, Jr., Revisited, 58 Villanova Law Review 471 (2013). Read Full Text.

Funding Race as Biology: The Relevance of "Race" in Medical Research, 12 Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology 571 (2011). Read Full Text.

Thurgood Marshall, the Race Man, and Gender Equality in the Courts, 18 Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law 15 (2010). Read Full Text.

Troubled Waters: Mid-Twentieth Century American Society on "Trial" in the Films of John Waters, 39 Stetson Law Review 153 (2009). Read Full Text.

Outsider Citizens: Film Narratives About the Internment of Japanese Americans, 42 Suffolk University Law Review 769 (2009). Read Full Text.

Trampling Whose Rights? Democratic Majority Rule and Racial Minorities: A Response to Chin and Wagner, 43 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 127 (2008). Read Full Text.

Dangerous Woman: Elizabeth Key's Freedom Suit - Subjecthood and Racialized Identity in Seventeenth Century Colonial Virginia, 41 Akron Law Review 799 (2008). Read Full Text.

Mestizaje and the Mexican Mestizo Self: No Hay Sangre Negra, So There Is No Blackness, 15 Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal 199 (2006), anthologized in The Latino/a Condition: A Critical Reader (Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic eds., 2d ed. 2010). Read Full Text.

Brown at 50: Reconstructing Brown’s Promise, 44 Washburn Law Journal 31 (2005). Read Full Text.

Setting the Record Straight: Maryland's First Black Women Law Graduates, 63 Maryland Law Review 752 (2004). Read Full Text.

Exploring White Resistance to Racial Reconciliation in the United States, 55 Rutgers Law Review 903 (2003). Read Full Text.

Both Edges of the Margin: Blacks and Asians in Mississippi Masala, Barriers to Coalition Building, 5 Asian Law Journal 7 (1998), reprinted in The Conflict and Culture Reader (Pat K. Chew, ed. 2001) and in Law Through Asian American Eyes: A Critical Inquiry for Multi-Racial America (Eric Yamamoto et al. eds., 2002). Read Full Text.

Toward a Global Critical Feminist Vision: Domestic Work and the Nanny Tax Debate, 3 Journal of Gender, Race and Justice 1 (1999), reprinted in Critical Race Feminism: A Reader (Adrien Wing ed., 2d ed. 2002), and in Beyond Essentialism: A Reader at the Intersections of Race, Class and Gender (Nancy Dowd & Michelle Jacobs eds., 2002). Read Full Text.

Colorism: A Darker Shade of Pale, 47 U.C.L.A. Law Review 1705 (2000), reprinted in Mixed Race America: A Critical Reader (Kevin R. Johnson ed., 2002). Read Full Text.

Women and AIDS: Racism, Sexism, and Classism, 17 New York University Review of Law & Social Change 351 (1989-90). Read Full Text.