|College of Arts and Sciences|
Jeff Williams is a post-doctoral fellow in the university’s founding documents program. His research focuses on civil rights litigation in the years before Brown v. Board of Education desegregated schools in 1954. He is currently working to turn his dissertation into a book entitled, Colored Lawyer, Topeka: The Legend and Legacy of Elisha Scott. The book will explore a family story that saw the Scott’s who were enslaved in Tennessee migrate to Kansas and help to build a legal and cultural community in Topeka in the decades before World War II. The book will demonstrate how local lawyers like Elisha Scott built the foundation for later civil rights gains, and how westward migration was an important catalyst of civil rights gains.
Dr. Williams received his PhD from the University of South Carolina and holds a BA in criminal justice and political science from the University of Wyoming. He is a long-suffering Colorado Rockies fan, and he does not expect the suffering to end anytime soon.