A passion for justice: J. Waties Waring and civil rights
An eighth-generation Charlestonian with a prestigious address, impeccable social credentials, and years of intimate association with segregationist politicians, U.S. District Court Judge Julius Waties Waring shocked family, friends, and an entire state in 1945 when, at age sixty-five, he divorced his wife of more than thirty years and embarked upon a far-reaching challenge to the most fundamental racial values of his native region. The first jurist in modern times to declare segregated schooling "inequality per se," Waring also ordered the equalization of teachers' salaries and outlawed South Carolina's white primary. Off the bench, he and his second wife--a twice-divorced, politically liberal Northerner who was even more outspoken in her political views than Waring himself--castigated Dixiecrats and southern liberals alike for their defense of segregation, condemned the "sickness" of white southern society, urged a complete breakdown of state-enforced bars to racial intermingling, and entertained blacks in their home, becoming pariahs in South Carolina and controversial figures nationally. Tinsley Yarbrough examines the life and career of this fascinating but neglected jurist, assessing the controversy he generated, his place in the early history of the modern civil rights movement, and the forces motivating his repudiation of his past.
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