The Movie That Went All the Way To the Supreme Court

by Becky 14. October 2010 14:45

Picture source:

According to Amazon: "Pinky (Jeanne Crain) a black woman who works as a nurse in Boston, finds she able to "pass for white." Afraid her heritage will be discovered, she leaves her white fiance (William Lundigan) and returns home to Mississippi. There, she helps her ailing grandmother (Ethal Waters) by caring for her employer (Ethel Barrymore), an important plantation owner. When she names Pinky heiress to her estate, the community rises in resentment, triggering a sensational court trial."

From Wikipedia: "Because of its subject matter, Pinky was a controversial movie, and was even banned by the city of Marshall, Texas, where W. L. Gelling managed the Paramount Theater, a segregated theater in which African-Americans sat in the balcony. Gelling booked Pinky for exhibition in February 1950. In 1950, the First Amendment did not protect movies (Mutual Film Corporation v. Industrial Commission of Ohio). The City Commission of Marshall “reactivated” the Board of Censors, established by a 1921 ordinance, and designated five new members who demanded the submission of the picture for approval. The Board disapproved its showing, stating in writing its “unanimous opinion that the said film is prejudicial to the best interests of the citizens of the City of Marshall.” Gelling nonetheless exhibited the film and was charged with a misdemeanor. Three members of the Board of Censors testified that they objected to the picture because it depicts (1) a white man retaining his love for a woman after learning that she is a Negro, (2) a white man kissing and embracing a Negro woman, (3) two white ruffians assaulting Pinky after she has told them she is colored. Gelling was convicted and fined $200. He appealed the conviction all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. After Gelling filed his appeal, the Court decided the landmark free speech case of Joseph Burstyn, Inc v. Wilson that extended First Amendment protection to films. The Court then overturned Gelling’s conviction."

"Pinky was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Jeanne Crain), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Ethel Barrymore) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Ethel Waters)." (Source: Wikipedia)

Available in the law library for check out.


"Gelling v. State of Texas, 343 U.S. 960 (1952)" (http;//

Wikipedia: Pinky (film)


Education | Library

Law Library Closure: Saturday & Sunday, October 9th-10th 2010

by Sarah Prosory 8. October 2010 11:15

Hi all!

Next week is Fall Break here at PhoenixLaw! In observance of Fall Break, the law library will be closed this Saturday and Sunday, October 9th & 10th, 2010. Enjoy this brief break (pun intended!) in your studies! Relax! Go see a movie! Relish in the cooler weather!

The Law Library's hours for next week, Monday- Friday, October 11th-15th 2010, are: 8:00 am to 9:00 pm (reference hours 9:00 am to 5:00 pm). Normal hours resume on Saturday, October 16th (no reference hours on the 16th & 17th).

As always, check out changes to our hours at

Enjoy your time off!

Banned Books Week 2010

by Patrick Lopez 30. September 2010 09:14

The week of September 25th through October 2nd 2010 is banned books week.  Banned books week was first celebrated in 1982 in response to an increasing number of books being challenged in schools, bookstores and libraries.  Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the National Association of College Stores. Banned Books Week is also endorsed by the Center for the Book of the Library of Congress.

According to, the 10 most challenged books of 2009 were: 
ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
   Reasons: nudity, sexually explicit, offensive language, drugs,
   and unsuited to age group

And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
    Reasons: homosexuality

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
   Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually
   explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: racism, offensive language, unsuited to age group
Twilight (series), by Stephanie Meyer
 Reasons: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
   Reasons: sexaully explicit, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
   Reasons: sexism, homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group, drugs, suicide, violence

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn  Mackler
   Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group

The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
   Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group

The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
   Reasons: nudity, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group

The Phoenix School of Law Library is supporting Banned Books week by presenting a special Banned Books Display (see pictures below) featuring a selection of Books that have recently been challenged or banned.  The display features several of the titles above plus many others with brief explanations of where and when these books were challenged.  Join the celebration of our freedom to read by visiting our display, or finding out about banned books activities at other libraries and bookstores.  To find out more about Banned Books Week go to,



Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

by Library 22. September 2010 10:34

September 15 marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. It is the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico also declared its independence on September 16 and Chile declared its independence on September 18.

According to the 2010 Census Questionnaire Reference Book, people of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin are those who trace their origin or descent to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Spanish-speaking countries of Central or South America, and other Spanish cultures. Origin can be considered as the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person's parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States.

Check out some famous firsts by Hispanic Americans, including those in government, military, science and more!

Try out the Infoplease interactive crossword puzzle where this week’s theme is Hispanic Heritage Month!

And for more fun, test your knowledge on Hispanic Americans by taking the Infoplease quiz!

Stop by the Law Library and check out this month’s Hispanic Heritage Display created by Tim Saffles, Faculty & Interlibrary Loan Services Coordinator! The display highlights some books and videos that the library owns, including A Class Apart, a DVD donated to the Law Library by Los Abogados, Arizona’s Hispanic Bar Association. The DVD is about a small-town Texas murder from which emerged a landmark civil rights case, the little-known story of the Mexican American lawyers who took Hernandez v. Texas (347 U.S. 475 (1954)), to the Supreme Court, challenging Jim Crow-style discrimination.





Library Workshops for Week of September 6th 2010

by Sarah Prosory 3. September 2010 17:20

Hello everyone!

Here is a listing of events the law library is conducting for the week of September 6th, 2010:

Monday 9/6/10:
    Library CLOSED!

Tuesday 9/7/10:
    Noon, LP1 SRU Workshop: Secondary Sources
    3pm, LP2: Court Documents
    4:30pm, LP1 SRU Workshop: Secondary Sources
    5:50pm, Mini SRU: Library Catalog

Wednesday 9/8/10:
    11:50am, Mini SRU: Library Catalog   
    Noon, LP1 SRU Workshop: Secondary Sources
    5pm, LP1 SRU Workshop: Secondary Sources
    6pm, LP2: Court Documents
Thursday 9/9/10:
    11:50am, Mini SRU: Library Catalog
    Noon, LP1 SRU Workshop: Secondary Sources
    3pm, LP2: Court Documents
    4:30pm, LP1 SRU Workshop: Secondary Sources
    7:40pm, LP1 SRU Workshop: Secondary Sources

Friday 9/10/10:
    11am, LP2: Court Documents
    Noon, LP1 SRU Workshop: Secondary Sources
    1pm, LP1 SRU Workshop: Secondary Sources
    2pm, LP2: Court Documents
    3pm, LP1 SRU Workshop: Secondary Sources

Please visit our workshop calendar to RSVP (no RSVP needed for the Mini SRUs). For descriptions of these workshops, click here.

Questions? Call (602) 682-6898.

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