Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance by Harold Michael Harvey is more than a simple memoir of a movement of resistance.
It’s a love story about the author’s family and it is through that lens where we discover that the spirit of resistance that resides deep in Harvey’s soul, didn’t just happen but was born out of centuries of struggle – and the urge – no the need to resist.
Harvey traces his own history using the tools given to him by a culture designed to oppress African Americans. He explores the impacts of the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision and the Brown v. Board of Education decision. One decision allowed slavery in another form – Jim Crow, and the other ended segregation in schools – but not for more than a decade. Justice delayed is justice denied.
Harvey could not escape without explaining how and why he earned the moniker “Freaknik Lawyer” or why he detests it, but I think he has come to embrace it. He’s known for defending people whose rights were violated during the traffic-stopping days of Freaknik.
He went up against a black mayor in the “City Too Busy To Hate,” but hate it did. He asks himself, in the book, where did the “courage come from to challenge a powerful Southern Mayor?”
The answer is found in the Foreword of the book and you’ll have to read this excellent rendering of history to experience it for yourself.
You’ll also find clues to what it takes to build a successful family, even in these times of stress. There are times when you need to look at what worked in the past and emulate the lessons found there.
Harold Michael Harvey is the author of Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. He is a Past President of the Gate City Bar Association. He is the recipient of Gate City’s R. E. Thomas Civil Rights Award, which he received for his pro bono representation of Black college students arrested during Freaknik celebrations in the mid to late 1990s. An avid public speaker, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org