An Innovative Freedom Fighter

Posted by Unknown Saturday, February 25, 2012


The story of Rev. Dr. Harvey Johnson needs a broader audience and is worthy of more in-depth study and research. He served Union Baptist Church for 50 years from 1874 to 1923, as its 5th Pastor. 

During that period of time, he was one of the greatest liberation thinkers in America.  

He created the legal "test case" strategy. This strategy was developed out of the "Sue Steamship" case. Members of his church were forced to travel in the cargo section of a steamship, even though they had a first-class travel ticket. He sued the steamship line and won the case. This set the precedent for the use of "test case" as a legal strategy.  

This strategy was used by Thurgood Marshall of the NAACP to strike down Plessey versus Ferguson in the Brown versus Board of Education. 

The "test case" legal strategy has been replicated by every minority group who has sought legal redress through the court system.  

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