Judge Robert Watts interview
Judge Robert B. Watts (1922-1998) was a veteran, civil rights activist, and lawyer for the Baltimore branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He helped found the first Black law firm in Maryland, Brown, Allen, & Watts. In 1960, Watts became the first Black judge to be appointed to the Municipal Court of Baltimore City and in 1968, he was selected to be a judge on the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. In this oral history interview, Watts provides his impressions of freedom fighter Lillie May Carroll Jackson, with whom he closely worked; Charles Houston, special counsel to the NAACP; and Theodore McKeldin, who had served as Mayor of Baltimore and Governor of Maryland. Watts discusses the consequences of the 1954 Supreme Court decision, which declared segregation in schools to be a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, and elaborates on his and Jackson’s mission to ensure the enforcement of the law in Baltimore City schools.