Summary and book reviews of Mighty Justice by Dovey Johnson Roundtree

Mighty Justice

My Life in Civil Rights

by Dovey Johnson Roundtree , Katie McCabe

Mighty Justice by Dovey Johnson Roundtree , Katie McCabe X
Mighty Justice by Dovey Johnson Roundtree , Katie McCabe
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Published:
    Nov 2019, 304 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

"Dovey Johnson Roundtree set a new path for women and proved that the vision and perseverance of a single individual can turn the tides of history." —Michelle Obama

In Mighty Justice, trailblazing African American civil rights attorney Dovey Johnson Roundtree recounts her inspiring life story that speaks movingly and urgently to our racially troubled times. From the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, to the segregated courtrooms of the nation's capital; from the male stronghold of the army where she broke gender and color barriers to the pulpits of churches where women had waited for years for the right to minister—in all these places, Roundtree sought justice.

At a time when African American attorneys had to leave the courthouses to use the bathroom, Roundtree took on Washington's white legal establishment and prevailed, winning a 1955 landmark bus desegregation case that would help to dismantle the practice of "separate but equal" and shatter Jim Crow laws.

Later, she led the vanguard of women ordained to the ministry in the AME Church in 1961, merging her law practice with her ministry to fight for families and children being destroyed by urban violence.

Largely unknown to most Americans, trailblazing African American civil rights attorney Dovey Johnson Roundtree broke color and gender barriers in courtrooms, the U.S. Army, and churches before dying at the age of 104 in 2018. Her inspiring life story speaks movingly and urgently to our troubled times.

Foreword
Called to Witness

We have all heard that the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice, but during dark and difficult times, it's sometimes a challenge to see it curving in the right direction. History tells us the stories of the great men—charismatic, brave, and doomed—who gave their lives to the struggle for racial equality. While these men earned our praise, we know that they did not change the world alone. Mighty Justice
This is a love story. Dovey Johnson Roundtree was a patriot, in love with a flawed, unfair, and often cruel nation. One of her earliest memories was the sight of her grandmother's feet, misshapen and gnarled as a result of violence at the hands of an angry white man. But along with her memory of the damage done her grandmother's body, she recalls herself on bended knee, kneading and massaging the same feet, providing comfort to the woman who had been brave enough to say no in the face of power and paid the price. Even as a small child, ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The behind-the-scenes descriptions of the courtroom battles against Jim Crow and segregation were fascinating, yet the entire story is told with such warmth that it reads like a novel (Sally H). Mighty Justice is a well written, well researched and powerful book (Susan U). Once you start to read her biography you won't be able to put it down. It's very readable and very fast-paced, especially her descriptions of the courtroom scenes (Joan V). This book would make an excellent selection for any book group, as the issues contained in it are still prevalent in society today. Great story! (Diane H)...continued

Full Review (668 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This eye-opening, accessible book documents the life of a trailblazing human rights advocate.

Kirkus Reviews
Thoughtful and highly inspiring, this book, co-authored by McCabe, is not only a moving memoir; it is also an important contribution to the history of civil rights in America. Tayari Jones provides the foreword.

Library Journal (starred review)
“Readers will find [Roundtree’s] dogged certainty in the inevitable triumph of justice in times of social upheaval both timely and inspiring. This superb work should ensure that Roundtree receives the recognition she richly deserves.”

Shelf Awareness
“In this apparent golden age of memoir, some stories shine brighter than others. Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights is one lucent example of the brighter variety...This memoir by pathbreaking black attorney Dovey Johnson Roundtree deserves a spot alongside works by and about Pauli Murray and Barbara Jordan.”

Author Blurb Liza Mundy, New York Times bestselling author of Code Girls
Roundtree never gave up on America. Her story is at the same time infuriating, heartbreaking, moving, joyous, and powerful. Read it and you will feel inspired.

Author Blurb Charles J. Ogletree, author of Without Parole: America New Death Penalty
Dovey Roundtree is my hero. This is not only a great read, but a must read. I recommend it to anyone thinking about justice or trying to find ways to overcome challenges they face.

Author Blurb Lance Morrow, Time magazine essayist and author of Evil
Dovey Roundtree's nobility, the courage and effectiveness of her work, are enough to restore one's hope for the human race. The book, though it describes an era that is past, is above all a study of something that doesn't change much---human character and its possibilities.

Author Blurb Dr. Walter J. Leonard, former president of Fisk University and founding committee chair of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University
You will learn so very much about determination, values, courage, manners, and the moral strength of this family. The experience will enhance your appreciation for the struggles and achievements against the odds, and the meanness of stereotypes. And you will see and learn American history and human history at its best.

Author Blurb Brig. Gen. Wilma L. Vaught, USAF (Ret.), president, Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation
To read how Dovey Roundtree struggled to help others and to make a difference in our world is exalting. This book tells what one determined, unstoppable woman did with her life to change laws and traditions to make America a better, fairer, and more respectful country.

Author Blurb Citation of the Judges, Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize
An amazing story that humanizes the raw emotions of thousands of early twentieth-century achievers ... living the dreams of the entire African American community.

Author Blurb The Charlotte Observer
Manages to immerse readers in Roundtree's life, creating a real sense of what it was like to live as a black person in segregated Charlotte and the Jim Crow South.

Author Blurb Johnnetta Betsch Cole, President Emerita, Spelman College and Bennett College
Beautifully and engagingly told.

Author Blurb Michelle Obama
Ms. Roundtree set a new path for the many women who have followed her and proved once again that the vision and perseverance of a single individual can help to turn the tides of history…. [She] clearly demonstrated that even in the face of enormous challenges, an unblinking belief in equality and justice will spur real change. I am inspired by Ms. Roundtree, and I hope that her story continues to motivate all Americans to fight for our shared values. It is on the shoulders of people like Dovey Johnson Roundtree that we stand today, and it is with her commitment to our core ideals that we will continue moving toward a better tomorrow.

Reader Reviews

Elizabeth K. (Dallas, TX)

A Mighty Important Book
I'd recommend that every American read this compelling book. It is written from the perspective of a fighter for legal justice who was intimately involved in the civil rights movement. Dovey Johnson Roundtree is an admirable person, and her life ...   Read More

Xandra B. (Clarksdale, MS)

Mighty Justice
Dovey Johnson Roundtree's story is amazing! This is a story of an amazing African American woman who accepted and won challenges that would have been thought to be impossible, especially during her day. Her diligence broke not only color barriers but...   Read More

Elizabeth T. (Salem, MA)

Interesting in So Many Ways!
Despite its solemn title, Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights is lively, engaging, and stirring on so many levels. First, it's a memoir by Dovie J Rountree, who earned her degree from Howard Law School in 1950, when black female attorneys were ...   Read More

Susan U. (Brookfield, WI)

A Life With Purpose
Mighty Justice is a well written, well researched and powerful book about the life of Dovey Johnson Roundtree, a major force in the civil rights movement. She had the courage to take on the white establishment in a life long struggle for justice for ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Dovey Johnson Roundtree (1914-2018)

Black and white photo of Dovey Johnson Roundtree standing on courthouse stepsDovey Mae Johnson Roundtree was an African American civil rights activist and attorney who secured one of the most significant victories against Jim Crow segregation, and broke the color barrier of the Women's Bar in Washington D.C. She also served in the Women's Auxiliary Corps during World War II and, in 1961, became one of a select few female ordained ministers in the African Methodist Episcopalian Church. Yet when she passed away at the age of 104 in 2018, her name was largely unknown. The re-release of her memoir (first published in 2009 under the title Justice Older Than the Law), now titled Mighty Justice and co-written with award-winning journalist Katie McCabe, seeks to rectify that lapse in the public consciousness.

Roundtree ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Mighty Justice, try these:

  • The World According to Fannie Davis jacket

    The World According to Fannie Davis

    by Bridgett M. Davis

    Published 2020

    About this book

    A singular memoir that tells the story of one unforgettable mother, her devoted daughter, and the life they lead in the Detroit numbers of the 1960s and 1970s.

  • Becoming jacket

    Becoming

    by Michelle Obama

    Published 2018

    About this book

    An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Your House Will Pay
    Your House Will Pay
    by Steph Cha
    Steph Cha's novel Your House Will Pay shows how a legacy of violence and injustice can ripple ...
  • Book Jacket: Divide Me By Zero
    Divide Me By Zero
    by Lara Vapnyar
    Divide Me By Zero begins with an encounter between the narrator, Katya Geller, a 40-something mother...
  • Book Jacket: Mighty Justice
    Mighty Justice
    by Dovey Johnson Roundtree , Katie McCabe
    What it's about:
    Dovey Johnson Roundtree was one of two lawyers who won the landmark case "Sarah ...
  • Book Jacket: The Seine
    The Seine
    by Elaine Sciolino
    Of the 24 members who reviewed Elaine Sciolino's The Seine: The River that Made Paris for BookBrowse...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The In-Betweens
    by Mira Ptacin

    "A fascinating history of an American community of Spiritualists... a fabulous read."
    —Elizabeth Gilbert
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Seine
    by Elaine Sciolino

    "A soulful, transformative voyage along the body of water that defines the City of Light."
    —Lauren Collins
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Home for Erring and Outcast Girls

From the author of
Calling Me Home

An emotionally raw and resonant story of two young women connected by a home for "fallen girls," and inspired by historical events.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W G Up M C D

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.