Detroit’s own civil rights icon, federal judge Damon Keith, passed away this weekend. He was 96. One Detroit contributor, Stephen Henderson sat down with Judge Damon Keith in 2014 for an in-depth interview on his career, his life, and his biography, “Crusader for Justice: Federal Judge Damon J. Keith”.
Watch the entire interview here:
In his op-ed, One Detroit’s Nolan Finley reflected on Judge Damon Keith’s legacy. He writes, “The late Judge Damon Keith was descended from people for whom the United States Constitution and its Bill of Rights were hollow words formed from lofty ideals that didn’t apply to them.
Yet if you walk into any federal courthouse, and countless other public and private offices throughout the country, the plaque on the wall commemorating the 200th anniversary of those documents bears the name of Detroit’s Judge Damon J. Keith, who served as chairman of the bicentennial.
Rather than rejecting the Constitution for its hypocrisy, Keith spent a lifetime wielding it as a weapon against racism, segregation and discrimination.”