"The Long Road to Justice: The African-American Experience in
the Massachusetts Courts," was re-dedicated and celebrated at its
new home, the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse in Boston, on Oct.
Sponsored by the Justice George Lewis Ruffin Society, the
traveling exhibit will now be featured permanently in the main
lobby of the courthouse. The educational display - inspired by the
vision of retired Superior Court Justice Julian T. Houston -
portrays the African-Americans' struggle through three centuries to
achieve full participation and justice in the Massachusetts court
The Massachusetts Bar Association, in cooperation with the
Administrative Office of the Trial Court, sponsored the Oct. 29
reception. Ruffin Society President Anthony Owens presented the
MBA, the AOTC and Northeastern University's College of Criminal
Justice with commemorative plaques for their generous support of
the exhibit's transformation into a permanent one.
MBA President Valerie A. Yarashus quoted Palestinian-American
literary scholar and activist Edward Said during her remarks: "Even
if one is not [excluded from the justice system and therefore from
civil society in such a blatant way], it is still possible to think
as one [who has been], to imagine and investigate in spite of
barriers, and always to move away from the centralizing authorities
towards the margins, where you see things that are usually lost on
minds that have never traveled beyond the conventional and
"It is exhibits like this that help those of us living now, in
these times, to imagine and investigate these life-changing
challenges," added Yarashus, who explained that the exhibit gets to
the "very core" of what justice is about.
For more information on "The Long Road to Justice," visit
the Brooke Courthouse or www.masshist.org/longroad/03participation/participation.htm.