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Pearson, Conrad Odell, b. 1902


Conrad Odell Pearson grew up in Durham, North Carolina. In 1932, immediately following his graduation from Howard School of Law, Pearson became involved in legally challenging segregation in higher education. He worked with fellow attorney Cecil McCoy on a case that challenged the decision of the University of North Carolina to deny admission to Thomas Hocutt, and African American, to the school of pharmacy. After the case failed in the state legal system, Pearson helped to reintroduce it at the federal level as a challenge on the Fourteenth Amendment, where it was ultimately thrown out on a technicality. Pearson continued to litigate against institutional segregation from the 1930s on, and in 1935 he helped to found the Durham Committee on Negro Affairs.--From Oral Histories of the American South biography.

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