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The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr.

Judge Barrington D. Parker, Jr. was born on August 21, 1944 in Washington, D.C. to Federal Judge Barrington D. Parker, Sr. and Marjorie Holloman Parker, board chair of the University of the District of Columbia. Parker graduated from McKinley Technical High School, and earned his B.A. degree in history from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut in 1965. He then received his LL.B. degree from Yale Law School in 1969.

Parker began his legal career as a clerk for Judge Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr., an African American judge on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. He joined the firm of Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City as an associate in 1970, where he specialized in general commercial litigation. In 1977, Parker and three other partners founded the law firm of Parker, Auspitz, Neesemann, & Delehanty, P.C. which, in 1987, merged with Morrison & Foerster, an international law firm based out of San Francisco, California. In 1994, Parker was appointed to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York by President Bill Clinton. His cases in the district court included Trinity United Methodist Parish v. Board of Education of Newburgh, where he upheld a church’s right to rent space within a public school, and the trial of businessman Albert J. Pirro, Jr., who was indicted for conspiracy and tax evasion. In 2001, President George W. Bush nominated Parker to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the Senate confirmed him 100-0. On the circuit court, he was involved in several prominent cases involving the rights of terrorism suspects, including Rumsfeld v. Padilla, where Parker ruled that Al Qaeda suspect Jose Padilla must be offered habeas corpus as an American citizen, and Arar v. Ashcroft, where Parker wrote a dissenting opinion stating that Maher Arar’s rights had been violated by the Bush administration’s policy of extraordinary rendition. Parker assumed senior status in 2009.

Parker served on the board of trustees for the Yale Corporation, and on the board of The Harlem School of the Arts, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Central Park Conservancy.

Parker has three children: Christine, Kathleen, and Jennifer.

Judge Barrington D. Parker, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 5, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.067

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/5/2016

Last Name

Parker

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

Daniels

Schools

Yale University

Yale Law School

McKinley Technology High School

Monroe School

Benjamin Banneker Academic High School

First Name

Barrington

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

PAR09

Favorite Season

Fall

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I Did The Best I Could With What I Had.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

8/21/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Hamburger

Short Description

Judge Barrington D. Parker, Jr. (1944 - ) served on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Employment

Phillips Exeter Academy

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Office of the Corporation Counsel for Washington D.C.

United States District Court for the District of Columbia

Sullivan and Cromwell LLP

Parker, Auspitz, Neesemann and Delehanty, P.C.

Morrison and Foerster LLP

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

United State Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. describe his paternal grandfather's role at the Robert H. Terrell Law School

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. talks about his parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. describes his mother's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. remembers his community in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. recalls his family dinners and holidays

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. remembers visiting the Smithsonian Institution

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. describes his schooling in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. recalls the desegregation of public accommodations in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. remembers the integration of McKinley Technical High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. talks about his teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. remembers his favorite academic subjects

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. recalls his mother's community involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. recalls his decision to attend Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. describes his transition to Yale University

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. remembers his friends and mentors at Yale University

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. remembers studying history at Yale University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. remembers his paternal grandfather's legal representation of W.E.B. Du Bois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. remembers William Sloane Coffin's civil rights activism

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. remembers the civil rights activity at Yale University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. remembers the Freedom Rides, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. remembers the Freedom Rides, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. recalls his decision to pursue a career in law

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. recalls his internship with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. recalls his encounters with the Ku Klux Klan during the Freedom Rides

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. recalls working as a freshman proctor at Yale University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. recalls his concerns about the draft during the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. recalls his clerkship with Judge Aubrey Eugene Robinson, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. remembers joining Sullivan and Cromwell LLP

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. remembers founding Parker, Auspitz, Neesemann and Delehanty, P.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. talks about his family, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. talks about his family, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. talks about his board service

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. talks about his work with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. talks about the Central Park Conservancy

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. recalls his decision to pursue a judicial appointment

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. remembers joining the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. recalls the cases in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. describes the duties of a district judge

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. describes his wife's work

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. recalls his decision to pursue a career in law
The Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. remembers the Freedom Rides, pt. 1
Transcript
When did you figure out that you wanted to be a lawyer?$$I--after I graduated, I took a job in the history department at Phillips Exeter [Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire] and I was trying to figure out whether to go to graduate school in the history or law school. And I liked the place. It was a great school. And I mean I--I'm not--I'm not sorry I didn't go there 'cause I just--I mean (laughter) there were these sort of ruling class white kids there and they were--(laughter) most of them were miserable. I mean, it was just like an intellectual boot camp. I mean, they just worked hard. They had fabulous teachers. It was academically very demanding. And I, I, I sort of wish--I mean, in, in the--you know, quickly kind of didn't matter, but I said, you know, if I had a couple of these teachers, if I had just a syllabus, if they taught this, just used the same books and asked the same questions at McKinley Tech [McKinley Technical High School; McKinley Technology High School, Washington, D.C.] that they were asking at Exeter, it made a big difference. And the people in the history department could not have been nicer to me. They wanted me to go back to graduate school and they--you know, they said, you know, you--, "If you--ever you want to come back and teach here--." I thought that the most interesting--the most exciting years in teaching tended to be the earlier ones and I thought that as--a career as a lawyer would get progressively even more interesting, and that assessment in retrospect was the correct one. So, instead of going to graduate school, I went to law school--went back to Yale [Yale Law School, New Haven, Connecticut].$Did you find yourself involved in civil rights activity at all?$$Yeah. So, they had this group there called the--I think it was called the Yale civil rights research council [Law Students Civil Rights Research Council] or something like that--I forget the name of it, and so, that was a group of people on campus who were interested in civil rights activity, so I was involved in that. But, summer of 1964, I'm back in Washington [D.C.] and I got this gosh, horrible job that my father [Barrington D. Parker, Sr.] got me working in the post office [U.S. Post Office Department; U.S. Postal Service] stuffing second class mail for Virginia. It was just horrible (laughter). So, that was the, the summer--that was the summer of the Mississippi Summer Project [Freedom Summer], so you would go back home and sit down and watch television and, you know, the, the point of that project was to get white volunteers down south to focus the media on conditions in places like Southwest Georgia and Mississippi. So, I mean, I'm sitting here looking at this and, you know, why am I here? And so I, I forget what, what happened. Our parents were away someplace and somebody told me that they were--they were organizing a second tranche of volunteers to go and they were doing training at All Souls Church [All Souls Church, Unitarian] on--in Washington, so I went down there, and then the next thing I knew, I was in this carpool. We went to the SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee] office in Atlanta [Georgia] and then they kind of gave you your assignment and told you where you were going, so I ended up in, in Hattiesburg [Mississippi], and that was a--that was another sort of game changer.$$What happened there?$$Met all these absolutely extraordinary people. So, I was in South Africa before Mandela [Nelson Mandela] got out of jail, so I'm sitting around this dinner party with all these guys who are getting out of Robben Island [South Africa] and it's always been a close call in my mind about whether the most impressive group of adults I've ever met were those guys or the young SNCC guys I met in Mississippi, [HistoryMakers] James Forman, [HistoryMaker] John Lewis, Robert Moses [Robert Parris Moses], Stokely Carmichael [Kwame Ture]. They were all these guys who were just visionary and courageous and, you know, they made all--they made all the difference. And, and, you know, guys whose names you never heard of anymore--$$Now (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) who, you know, worked in these dangerous towns.$$Well, and so when you decided to go, did you get any resistance from your family?$$They were--no, not at all.$$No?$$Right.$$And as you're traveling--$$My mother [Marjorie Holloman Parker] told her--all her AKA [Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority] friends (laughter).$$So, she was proud of you.$$Um-hm.$$As you made your way--that's fine--as you made your way down, did you encounter any dangerous moments?$$No. I think--I, I can't--I think we went to--no. I mean, Hattiesburg was relatively calm. I mean, there were things you didn't do. You know, you didn't--you know, you, you, you certainly didn't go around town with white women and so forth. But what we were doing in Hattiesburg was we were teaching at the Freedom Schools and then encouraging people to register to vote and then encouraging them to--you know, and telling them that the--you know, that there's a statewide school of desegregation suit that had been won and they could send their kids to, you know, the nice school down the road and so forth and so on.$$But, I mean, those were game changing things down there that--$$Yeah, you're--the heavy lifting was done--I don't mean heavy lift- but, there were places that were just dangerous to be in and they were up in the Delta [Mississippi Delta] and in the Piney Woods area. Hattiesburg was not a Klan [Ku Klux Klan, KKK] town. I don't--I can't explain why, but it was just--I mean, you could kind of walk around downtown in Hattiesburg and nobody would--I mean--and so forth.$$Um-hm.$$But--

The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones

Retired United States Circuit Court Judge and General Counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Nathaniel R. Jones was born on May 13, 1926 in Youngstown, Ohio. The son of Virginians, Lillian Brown Jones and Nathaniel Bacon Jones, he attended Westside School and Grant Junior High School. Black publisher J. Maynard Dickerson, owner of the activist Buckeye Review, mentored Jones, who wrote for the column, “Sports Shorts,” before graduating from South High School. Drafted in 1945, Jones served in the United States Army Air Corps in Dayton, where Dickerson introduced him to NAACP activists Mylie Williamson, James H. McGhee and F. Leon Higginbotham. After his discharge in 1947, he was introduced to Walter White, NAACP executive secretary. Jones earned an A.B. degree from Youngstown State University in 1951 and an LL.B. degree from Youngstown State University Law School in 1956.

Admitted to the bar in 1957, Jones, after four years of private practice, served as executive director of the Fair Employment Practices Commission and in 1960 was appointed by Attorney General Robert Kennedy as United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland. In 1967, Jones was appointed Assistant General Counsel to President Johnson’s National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (the Kerner Commission). Briefly returning to private practice, Jones was asked by NAACP executive director, Roy Wilkins, to serve as NAACP general counsel in 1969. For the next ten years, he argued several cases before the United States Supreme Court and led national efforts to end school segregation and to defend affirmative action. Jones investigated discrimination in the armed forces and successfully coordinated the NAACP’s First Amendment defense in the Mississippi Boycott Case. Jones was nominated by President Carter to the United States Court of Appeals in 1979 to which he became Senior Judge. He retired from the bench in 2002.

Currently a senior partner with Blank and Rome LLP, Jones has published widely and built a distinguished community record. He taught law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, North Carolina Central University College of Law and Harvard University Law School. In 1993, Jones served as part of a team of observers for the first democratic elections in South Africa. Recipient of scores of awards, Jones is married to the former Lillian Hawthorne and has four grown children.

Accession Number

A2006.050

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/23/2006

Last Name

Jones

Maker Category
Middle Name

R.

Organizations
Schools

Youngstown South High School

West Side School #2

James Hillman Junior High School #2

Youngstown State University

First Name

Nathaniel

Birth City, State, Country

Youngstown

HM ID

JON15

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

A Person Must Be A Beacon Of Light That Will Illuminate Dark Places.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

5/13/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cincinnati

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Association general counsel and federal circuit court judge The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones (1926 - ) is a retired United States Circuit Court Judge, and has served as executive director of the Fair Employment Practices Commission. He has also served as a United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and former general counsel for the NAACP.

Employment

Blank Rome LLP

U.S. Court of Appeals

National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders

Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland

Fair Employment Practices Commission

The Buckeye Review

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones describes his mother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones describes his father's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones recounts how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones recalls his parents' work during the Great Depression

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones describes his parents' move to Youngstown, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones talks about the history of Youngstown, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones recalls Youngstown's Third Baptist Church

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones remembers his experiences at West Side School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones recalls racial tensions in primary school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones describes his extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones recalls working at the Buckeye Review, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones recalls black newspapers' influence on his writing

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones recalls working at the Buckeye Review, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones describes his sports network in Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones describes his courses at South High School

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones recalls his time in the service

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones describes his NAACP involvement

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones describes Youngstown State University

DASession

1$1

DATape

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DAStory

1$1

DATitle
The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones recalls his parents' work during the Great Depression
The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones recalls working at the Buckeye Review, pt. 1
Transcript
We were talking about your, your parents [Lillian Brown Rafe and Nathaniel Jones] and their personalities and the kind of things they had to do during the Depression [Great Depression] and--$$Well, both of my parents were very, were very energetic. They believed in, there was a strong work ethic in my family. My mother, in addition to working as a matron and selling products [for J.R. Watkins Medical Company; Watkins Incorporated], and she served as a subscription manager for the black local newspaper called, the Buckeye Review, which I later came to work for and eventually became the editor of it but in addition to doing those things, she, she took in washing, took in laundry and I would go collect the, the laundry, the washing, primarily shirts from, of business people and I'd go to their offices and collect the shirts and bring them home and on, on a Monday, and she would soak them and wash them and then she'd iron them and then on Thursday and Friday we would deliver them back to, to the customers. So she, she was always doing something to, to help sustain the family. And my father, likewise, he would always work. When the steel mills weren't up, he would be working two or three other jobs and when we got older, my brother [Wellington Jones] and I would go, we'd work with him at night when the theaters closed at eleven o'clock, we would then go and perform the janitorial services from two--twelve until five or six in the morning on weekends. We did it on weekends but my father did it every, every night.$So here you are going to these meetings?$$Yeah, and, and they would, you know, ask me, you know, "What do you want to be? What do you want to do," and so forth and I'd talk with them. Though Mr. Dickerson [J. Maynard Dickerson] was very active in this, in the YMCA [Young Men's Christian Association] forum activity, and he usually presided or he'd introduce the speaker or, and I was so impressed with this man who was, is this, you know, so important, he took an interest in me. And then my mother [Lillian Brown Rafe], of course, was working for him on the paper [Buckeye Review], and he'd always say, "Come over and see me sometimes, sonny," and I'd say, "Okay." And so when I was at the age that I kind of move around by myself, I would go over to the shop and I'd sit in the evenings and watch him work. He would come in from these, from his office and he'd put on his work clothes and he, he did, not only did he do the paper but he did commercial printing, job printing, letterheads, tickets and so forth and I'd watch him run the press. You know, he would just be putting stuff in the press, you know, printing, printing the jobs and so this went on for some time and then I would, and he would take me with him. They would hold some meetings in his home. If Thurgood Marshall was coming to town [Youngstown, Ohio] or some notable person would come in for a meeting, I would go with him and I'd just sit, go sit in the corner and listen to these, these people talk and strategize and I know one time I asked him if I could write a column for the paper. This time I was probably in the, about the eighth grade and he said, "What do you want to write about?" I said, "I want to write," 'cause I was into sports, you know, all kids are into the sports, I said, "I'd like to write about sports," and he said, "Well, okay." So, I sat at a typewriter and I was hunting and pecking, you know. I did this column called, Sports Shorts, and it was just a little aggregate, just a little culmination of little items of sports interest that I'd get out of newspapers and that I knew was going on.$$Now that was after the, that was after Jesse Owens ran in the Olympics [1936 Summer Olympics, Berlin, Germany] and all that, right?$$Yeah, yeah.$$What was the hottest thing that you were writing about in those days?$$Well it was usually the bowl games, you know, college football, high school, high school sports, putting names, he used to always say to me, "The important thing about a newspaper," you know, their paper was, "was names." People like to see their names in print and so anything I knew that was going on that my peers were doing, I would just, you know, include that and then college players, because there were so few blacks playing college ball in those days, it was always a big thing and I would always try and track who the black players were and mention them. But anyhow, the first column I did, I had it waiting for him when he came home and we sat in his breakfast nook and he had a ballpoint pen, a multi-color ballpoint pen, the first time I'd ever seen one with red, green and blue ink. So he took the red ink and he went over this column, it was the very first one I--that I did and he corrected it and it looked like, when he got through with that, it looked like chickens had had a fight on it. I mean, just red all over the thing and then he explained every correction and then he, he's a very direct person and very blunt and he said, "Now, what grade are you in?" And I told him. He said, "What do you do in school all day?" I said, "Well I," you know, I was stumbling around. He said, "But you're not learning anything." And I looked at him, he says, "Now, you should know this, you should know, you should have learned this before, you should have learned this in grade school about how to spell and how to write and your grammar." He said, "You don't have a foundation." He said you, and he just told me what, you know, just really gave me down to, in the country, and he said, now, he says, "You want to learn?" I said, "Yes sir, I do." He said, "Okay. If you want to learn, I'll work with you but you have to have a thick skin." I said, "Yeah, I, I'm ready," you know. So, from that point on he worked with me on all of my copy and he would correct and explain. He got me a dictionary for my pocket. We had a dictionary in the shop on one of these pedestals, one of these huge Webster dictionaries but he gave me one in my pocket to carry with me.