February 7, 1925
Alabama Supreme Court Justice Oscar William Adams Jr. was born in Birmingham. Barred from attending law school in Alabama due to segregation, Adams graduated from Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C. Throughout his nearly 50-year career in Alabama, he litigated numerous civil rights and labor cases for clients such as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth’s Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Adams became the first African-American to serve on the Alabama Supreme Court when he was appointed by Gov. Fob James in 1980, and the first African-American elected to statewide constitutional office when he was elected to the position in 1982. He was inducted into the Alabama Lawyers’ Hall of Fame in 2005.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.