Quest for Justice
Louis A. Bedford Jr. and the Struggle for Equal Rights in Texas
Texas History - African American Studies
6 x 9, 296 pp.
Price:        $22.50


Published by Southern Methodist University Press

To Receive E-News


Quest for Justice

Louis A. Bedford Jr. and the Struggle for Equal Rights in Texas

By Darwin Payne

Darwin Payne is professor emeritus of communications at Southern Methodist University. He’s the author of biographies of U.S. District Judge Sarah T. Hughes (Indomitable Sarah, SMU, 2004), and the writers Owen Wister and Frederick Lewis Allen. He’s written extensively on Dallas history, including Big D: Triumphs and Troubles of an American Supercity.

What Readers Are Saying:

“A wonderful story, carefully told and well documented, not only about Louis A. Bedford Jr. and his many accomplishments in jurisprudence and public affairs, but also a study of how a local community struggled with race relations before the Supreme Court's opinion in Brown v. Board of Education. All people engaged in local public affairs during the twenty-first century should use this book as a learning tool.” --Charles V. Willie, professor emeritus, Harvard University, Graduate School of

“L. A. Bedford is a remarkable example of thriving in the face of adversity. In Quest for Justice the reality of the impact of discrimination on the lives of a whole race of people comes through painfully loud and clear.” --Harriet Miers, noted attorney and former White House counsel

“A must read for every lawyer and every person who believes in the importance of the struggle for equal rights under the law.” --Al Ellis, former president of the Dallas Bar Association

“Among the strengths of Quest for Justice are its intimacy as a memoir of a prominent African American lawyer who observed and participated in many transformative legal and political challenges of the twentieth century, its remarkable portrait of black Dallas through five decades, and the author’s impressive knowledge of the city’s African American legal fraternity.” --Michael L. Gillette, executive director of Humanities Texas

“Payne’s study is most valuable because it provides little-known (to most white Texans anyway) information and insights about the black middle class in general and the black legal community in Texas in particular. The rich detail about black life in Texas is impressive and makes a real contribution to Texas history.” --Charles Martin, Texas historian of the civil rights movement and professor at

“An authoritative work that documents the role of African American lawyers who gave counsel, advice, and leadership during the civil rights struggle in Texas. Payne provides us a seat in the room with such legal giants as Thurgood Marshall, W.J. Durham, C.B. Bunkley, and others who worked with community leaders in Texas to develop strategies to fight for the integration of political, educational, and community institutions.” --Royce West, Texas State Senator, District 23


Styling Jim Crow
Bootlegger's Other Daughter
San Antonio on Parade
Buffalo Soldier Tragedy of 1877
Review Copy Request Form Desk Copy Request Form