As a young African-American child growing up in poverty in Okahumpka, Florida, Virgil Darnell Hawkins witnessed injustices against family and neighbors and knew he wanted to be a lawyer. As an adult, he finally had the opportunity to try to realize his dream. In 1949, at nearly 40 years of age, Mr. Hawkins applied to the University of Florida College of Law; on May 13, 1949, he received a letter saying his application was denied because of race. What followed was a nine year legal battle that led him to the United States Supreme Court, but not to the University of Florida College of Law. Nevertheless, his brave struggle paved the way for future generations of Florida's black lawyers. PLEASE SCROLL THROUGH THE TIMELINE, BELOW, FOR A SNAPSHOT OF MR. HAWKINS' LEGAL BATTLE.


Browse the Virgil Darnell Hawkins Archive Collections:


Hawkins Photo Archive

Historical Research Project No. 1 Photo Archive

News Articles and Publications

Oral Histories, Presentations, and Videos

Research in Virgil Hawkins' World of Print--Historical Print Research Project No. 1: Abortion