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Robert Collins interview, Part 2
Rogers, Kim Lacy
Collins gives more information about his law firm and the kind of activities they were involved in. He talks about his activism work in NAACP and CORE. Collins also explains his journey to become a judge and the obstacles he had to cross.
Robert Collins continues to overview the work of his firm, distinguishing their work as more boot-on-the-ground type of activism through litigation since they traveled throughout Louisiana to represent individuals. He names Vidalia, Clinton, Monroe, and St. Francisville as the types of places his firm would travel. He mentions Lolis Elie's urge to leave the firm as the impetus for the firm's dissolution as such, though noted they continued to practice as Collins and Douglas. He states that the firm worked for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and CORE, and describes that it was often difficult to find White Southern lawyers who would cooperate with the firm, other than Jack Nelson. He overviews how his work as an activist lawyer prepared him for a career in politics and as a judge. He details his formation of the New Orleans organization Community Organization for Urban Politics (COUP), which he describes as a means to help African American obtain political power "u2013 an effective strategy beyond just staging protest demonstrations. Collins describes his former partner Nils Douglas as "reclusive," and he and Rogers discuss the unwillingness of Douglas to participate in any interview for her research on New Orleans Civil rights activism. Collins notes the irony that while he was denied admission into the law school of Loyola University he later served a six-year term on their Board of Trustees. Collins discusses African American crime and poverty and situates that within a historical context and a legal system which has systematically failed African Americans.
New Orleans (La.)
Amistad Research Center
Box 3, Item 20, Side 2, Kim Lacy Rogers collection, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
Physical rights are retained by the Amistad Research Center. Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. Copyright laws.