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Gordon Martin, civil rights lawyer

UUA parliamentarian's book chronicles African Americans' efforts to vote in 1960s Mississippi.
By Christopher L. Walton
Spring 2011 2.15.11

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Gordon A. Martin Jr. (Courtesy University Press of Mississippi)

The Hon. Gordon A. Martin Jr. (Courtesy University Press of Mississippi)

Count Them One by One: Black Mississippians Fighting for the Right to Vote . By Gordon A. Martin, Jr. (Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2010; $40).

For the past forty-one years, Gordon A. Martin Jr. has served the Unitarian Universalist Association as parliamentarian, the arbiter of the UUA’s bylaws and parliamentary procedure at the General Assembly. During most of that time, he was also a trial judge in the Massachusetts District Court, but he began his career as a civil rights attorney for the Justice Department. In 1961, he met with and prepared witnesses for the federal government’s case against the voting registrar of Forrest County, Mississippi. The decision in United States v. Lynd was the first conviction of a registrar for discrimination against African Americans. In retirement, Martin returned to Mississippi to interview the surviving witnesses and their families. His new book tells the story of that landmark case.

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