Lloyd L. Gaines story

Lloyd L. Gaines

Lloyd L. Gaines vanished in March 1939. “Three months before he vanished, he won a U. S. Supreme Court decision (Gaines v. Canada) mandating the State of Missouri admit him into its university law school or build a separate, and equal, law school for blacks.

The Missouri General Assembly chose the latter option, converting a former cosmetology school in St. Louis to the Lincoln University School of Law and other mostly African-American students were admitted to it. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which had supported Gaines’ suit, planned to file another suit challenging the adequacy of the new law school. While he waited for classes to begin, Gaines traveled between St. Louis, Kansas City andChicago looking for work, doing odd jobs and giving speeches before local NAACP chapters. One night in Chicago he left the fraternity house where he was staying to buy stamps and never returned.

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