Born: January 2, 1913 in Hot Springs, Arkansas
Died: July 7, 1992
Bio: Juanita Jackson Mitchell was a pioneering African-American attorney whose many accomplishments included being the first Black woman to practice law in Maryland. Born in Arkansas, she grew up in Baltimore, where she became a civil rights attorney, as well as the matriarch of one of Maryland’s most politically influential Black families.
Part of her motivation for studying law was her post-college experiences. After her graduation from the University of Pennsylvania, Jackson traveled widely in the United States working for the Bureau of Negro Work as well as the Methodist Church, speaking and teaching on race relations. Then, following receipt of her master’s degree from Penn, from 1935 to 1938, Jackson was a special assistant to NAACP Executive Secretary Walter F. White, serving as the organization’s National Youth Director. In this role, she visited the Scottsboro Boys in prison and worked to organize a national letter-writing campaign protesting their conviction.
You can learn more about the life of Juanita Jackson Mitchell at the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.