In Richmond, Virginia’s downtown section of Jackson Ward (also known as “Black Wall Street”, and “The Harlem of the South”), the professional work of Omega Men would impact the development of Black institutions across the United States of America.
Judge Spottswood Robinson, III was born into an influential family. His father, S.W. Robinson, Jr., owned a real estate company, and with the financial assistance from Mrs. Maggie Walker, developed Richmond’s first Black housing subdivision—Frederick Douglass Court. Douglass Court set adjacent to Virginia Union University, with streets named for Black leaders, W.E.B. DuBois and John Mercer Langston. Douglass Court also possessed tennis courts built by James Thomas Flowers, providing “Spot” and his friends ample recreation.
After graduating from Virginia Union, Brother Robinson enrolled in the Howard University Law School, following his “Big Brother”, Oliver Hill, Sr., Judge Robinson once told me that he was having so much fun playing tennis at Howard, he earned his first “C” grade. Despite his early mediocre grade, Brother Robinson graduated in 1939 with the highest grade point in the law school’s history, which was only eclipsed in the late 1990’s. Brother Robinson served as Dean of Howard Law School after the death of Charles Hamilton Houston, who had trained the army of attorneys who would change the law in America.
Returning to Richmond, Virginia, Judge Robinson joined Brother Oliver Hill, Sr. in forming Hill, Martin & Robinson law firm. The two Omega Men would go on to file over 230 civil rights legal cases against the Commonwealth of Virginia and become a force to ultimately secure the landmark Supreme Court ruling of Brown v. Board of Education. Included in Brown was the Davis v. Prince Edward County, Virginia case that Brothers Hill and Robinson successfully argued.
Brother Robinson would end his career by appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, a court which often sent judges to the Supreme Court of the United States. In fact, Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg were appointed to the Court when Brother Robinson served as its Chief Judge.
Brother Robinson was a super scholar, and a fastidious fastener of wood and other construction materials. He was initiated into Omega Psi Phi Fraternity through Phi Phi chapter in November 1949 and was a longtime member of Alpha Omega chapter when living and working in Washington, DC. He represents the best embodiment of industriousness, and our Cardinal Principle, Scholarship.
Please make time to review the attached Oracle excerpts that chronicle some of Brother Judge Robinson’s contributions. Also, please add the following related books on your book list.
- We Face the Dawn, Edds (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0813942640?pf_rd_r=AKTRMKBJ8XN6SDX93ZRY&pf_rd_p=5ae2c7f8-e0c6-4f35-9071-dc3240e894a8&pd_rd_r=9b2072da-d107-4eb3-ac57-9efd0f368538&pd_rd_w=GUt2Z&pd_rd_wg=e7c6I&ref_=pd_gw_unk)
- Simple Justice, Kluger (https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Justice-Education-Americas-Struggle/dp/1400030617/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2ITX48YISP5BR&dchild=1&keywords=simple+justice+by+richard+kluger&qid=1614644785&s=books&sprefix=simple+justice%2Cstripbooks%2C197&sr=1-1).
Make it a great week Brothers. Be noble!
3rd District History and Archives Committee
The Monday Pearl is provided by the Third District History and Archives Committee and is a weekly sharing of fraternity content, commentary, and research of historical value we hope Brothers will enjoy and from which Brothers will draw inspiration. Previous “Pearls” can be found at https://3rddistrictques.org/about-us/overview/monday-pearl/. The Committee encourages your feedback. Should you have reactions, comments, information, anecdotes, documents, and the like, related to any of the content we share, we’d very much like to hear from you. Please send all communication to firstname.lastname@example.org.