Bridging the Divide: My Life

By Edward W. Brooke | Go to book overview

4
Law and
Politics

I was accepted into Boston University School of Law’s accelerated program, which was intended to turn veterans into lawyers in the shortest time possible. By going to school twelve months of the year, I could earn my law degree in two years instead of three. My studies were made possible by the GI Bill of Rights, the visionary legislation passed by the postwar Congress that made higher education possible for millions of veterans and helped build a more open, more prosperous America.

On my first day of law school it dawned on me that I had never before been in an integrated classroom or had a white teacher. I was one of seven Negroes in a class of more than three hundred. At first, I felt a tinge of insecurity, having come from exclusively Negro schools, but I worked hard and had no academic problems. I began to make friends with my white classmates—integration was new to them, too. One fellow came home to study with me one day. I have no idea what he expected, but he found that I was compulsively neat. When he left he said, “Ed, you’re not so different after all.”

The GI Bill paid for my tuition, books, and school fees, and I lived on very little money. I briefly shared an apartment in Roxbury with my cousin Adelaide Hill and her husband Henry, who had been among those encouraging me to come study in Boston. Adelaide’s father was a teacher and scholar, and she followed in his footsteps. She was like a sister to me, and she and her family were always a good influence on me, urging me to read and expand my mind in

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Bridging the Divide: My Life
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Inside the Cocoon 4
  • 2 - Captain Carlo 20
  • 3 - Romance in Italy 32
  • 4 - Law and Politics 43
  • 5 - "Where the Huckleberries Grow" 54
  • 6 - The Boston Finance Commission 71
  • 7 - One Vote in Worcester 80
  • 8 - Attorney General 96
  • 9 - The Strange Case of the Boston Strangler 115
  • 10 - Running for the Senate 129
  • 11 - Back to Washington 145
  • 12 - Vietnam 154
  • 13 - Member of the Club 169
  • 14 - The President Nixon I Knew 187
  • 15 - "The Freest Man in the Senate" 212
  • 16 - A Private Matter 235
  • 17 - Stormy Weather 243
  • 18 - Love and Redemption 259
  • 19 - Private Citizen 274
  • 20 - Looking beyond 289
  • Index 309
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