Gregory Sleet, judge of the U.S. District Court in Delaware, will deliver the University of Delaware's annual Louis L. Redding Diversity Lecture from 4-7 p.m., Thursday, March 15, in the Trabant University Center Theatre, Main Street and South College Avenue, on UD's Newark campus. The lecture, “The Struggle for Civil Rights in the U.S. as Viewed through the Lens of My Father, Moneta Sleet,” is free and open to the public.
The Louis Lorenzo Redding Diversity Award also will be presented at the lecture. The lecture and award honor the late outstanding civil rights attorney, who was the first African American to be admitted to the Delaware bar.
Sleet, the first African-American U.S. District Court judge in Delaware, was nominated to the position by President Bill Clinton. He is the son of the late Moneta Sleet Jr., a celebrated Ebony and Jet photojournalist.
Redding, who died in 1998 at age 96, was a graduate of Howard High School in Wilmington and an alumnus of Brown University and the Harvard Law School. In 1929, Redding became the first African American admitted to the Delaware Bar.
An outstanding jurist, Redding was instrumental in a host of cases that transformed the legal and social fabric of the state and the nation. He successfully opened the doors of the University and the Delaware public schools to African Americans and, with Thurgood Marshall, argued and won the landmark 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education case in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the "separate but equal" system of school desegregation.
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