Perspectives

Ohio University Alumna Pens Book About Civil Rights Lawyer/Journalist

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Dr. Amina Hassan, an independent historian and award-winning public radio documentarian, recently visited Ohio University’s campus to talk about her new book Loren Miller—Civil Rights Attorney and Journalist, published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

Loren Miller was an attorney who also practiced journalism and owned his own newspaper, the California Eagle, one of the longest running African American newspapers in the west. He also was deeply involved with the L.A. Sentinel.

As a journalist, Miller was an outspoken advocate for civil rights issues and as an attorney, he worked with noted attorney Thurgood Marshall on key civil rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and he also represented minority groups in California.

Miller worked against internment of Japanese American citizens in World War II. He helped integrate parts of the U. S. Military and the Los Angeles Fire Department. He also defended Black Muslims and took on issues facing the Latino population in Southern California.

The son of a slave, Miller was originally raised in a bi-racial home in the Midwest before spending the bulk of his professional career in the Los Angeles area. He was appointed judge of the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1964.
Hassan became interested in writing about Miller because, at one time, Miller represented Hassan’s father in a civil rights matter when Hassan’s dad was denied service at a Los Angeles dinner.

Hassan, as a radio documentarian, has had productions for National Public Radio – including a series on how race, class and gender shape American sport. She also covered the United States’ invasion of Grenada and did an NPR series on the Bill of Rights.

Throughout her career, Hassan has been committed to social, cultural, gender and foreign policy issues. She has travelled and lived in the Caribbean, the Near Middle East, North African, Central American and Europe.

She has been a consultant to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and handled radio projects for the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution and the Washington D.C. based research center the Institute for Policy Studies.

Hassan received her undergraduate degree from the University of California in Berkley, her master’s degree in telecommunication and her doctorate in rhetorical criticism from Ohio University.