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Audio Note: Tape 2 cuts off a few words short; however, the transcript is complete. The pitch of the voices varies at times but does not affect intelligibility; as Warren says at one point, it's not as if they're singing. There is a brief interruption in the middle of the second file, and an obvious conversational gap (possibly small) between the second and the third files.

Image: Original caption: William H. Hastie, Governor of the Virgin Islands, was nominated by President Truman to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, October 15th. Hastie, a former U.S. District Court Judge, is the first Negro to be named to a circuit post. October 15, 1949.  Copyright: Bettmann/Corbis.

Audio courtesy of the University of Kentucky.

William Hastie

Date: 
Apr. 20 [1964]
Related Documents: 
William Hastie
William Hastie Bio

William H. Hastie (1904-1976) was an attorney, politician, and federal judge. A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Hastie received an undergraduate degree at Amherst College in 1925, followed by degrees (an LL.B. and S.J.D.) in law from Harvard Law School in 1930 and 1933. After graduation Hastie was appointed an assistant solicitor in the United States Department of the Interior, where he advised the department on racial matters. In 1937 President Franklin Roosevelt appointed Hastie to serve as a federal district judge in the Virgin Islands. He left the Virgin Islands in 1939 to become the dean of Howard University School of Law, where he served until 1946. During World War II, Hastie also served as a civilian aide to Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, but he resigned to protest the discriminatory practices of the United States armed forces. Hastie was elected Territorial Governor of the Virgin Islands in 1946. He served as Governor until 1949, when President Harry S. Truman appointed Hastie to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. It was the highest judicial position an African American had attained at the time. Hastie served on the Court until his death, and he served as Chief Judge of the Court from 1968 to 1971.

Image: Original caption: William H. Hastie, Governor of the Virgin Islands, was nominated by President Truman to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, October 15th. Hastie, a former U.S. District Court Judge, is the first Negro to be named to a circuit post. October 15, 1949.  Copyright: Bettmann/Corbis.

Abstract

Hastie considers the revolutionary nature of the civil rights movement, and he conjectures that reports that African Americans wish for white liberals to stop participating in the civil rights movement have been exaggerated. Hastie opines that, in the civil rights movement, issues of race and class intersect, and he discusses the extent to which a solution to racial strife in the United States requires addressing socioeconomic issues. Hastie discusses New York City school integration and busing. Asked to consider Gunnar Myrdal's hypothesis concerning a plan for Reconstruction that would have worked, Hastie offers his belief that Reconstruction might have proven much more successful had the federal government continued its commitment to the freedmen for another 10 years. Hastie contends that, once a civil rights law is passed and desegregation is complete, the task remaining to all men is to adopt a worldview in which race is of no consequence. Hastie considers the past and present relevance of W. E. B. Du Bois's "talented tenth" and Booker T. Washington's ideas concerning labor, and he discusses sectional differences in the pace of the civil rights movement. Hastie concludes by discussing programs that give preferential treatment to African Americans, paying specific attention to preferential hiring programs. 

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