DID YOU KNOW: In 1952, Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo opened the first Black legal firm in South Africa providing free or low-cost legal counsel to Black South Africans. This moment in #BlackHistory especially resonates with me because I started my law practice at the Tulsa Urban League providing free legal services to low-income North Tulsa residents in exchange for office space. Frankly, that 1 1/2 working out of the Urban League was tremendously challenging, but unbelievably rewarding because I experienced first hand the difference one can make in the lives of “the lest of thee” just by showing you sincerely care about their well-being.
So, if the feelings of intense pride and support expressed to me by my clients is any indication of how a largely ignored, abused, and marginalized population reacts to having someone fight for them. Mandela and Tambo had to be overwhelmed with love from Black South Africans who finally had attorneys who looked like them to represent, advocate, and litigate their legal rights! #PeopleMatter #BlackLivesMatter
Damario Solomon-Simmons, Esq., M.Ed., is a practicing attorney at Riggs Abney law firm and Legislative Liasion for Oklahoma Policy Insitute and Together Oklahoma. He can be contacted at 918-587-3161 or firstname.lastname@example.org.