Journal of Supreme Court History
The purpose of this essay is twofold: It will endeavor to succinctly summarize the important events of Coleman’s life and professional career, while making the argument that these achievements were as groundbreaking in the legal community as Robinson’s were to baseball. Admittedly, looking to our national pastime is hardly an original literary maneuver; The myriad similarities and links between baseball and the law have offered rich material for many legal writers.2 Moreover, this article does not wish to diminish Coleman’s accomplishments by comparing them to a mere “game.” By drawing upon the sixtieth anniversary of Robinson’s debut, my hope is to give Coleman his due and place his laudable achievements in the proper perspective. Not only did the two men do much to dispel the pernicious stereotype that they belonged to a race that was doomed to second-class citizenship, but their efforts to integrate their respective professions and to use their talents to effect change reverberated throughout society.
Todd C. Peppers, William Thaddeus Coleman, Jr.: Breaking the Color Barrier at the U.S. Supreme Court, 33 J. Sup. Ct. Hist. 353 (2008).