About This Journal
The Berkeley Journal of Black Law & Policy is published annually each Spring by students of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.
The Journal seeks to publish social policy and legal scholarship addressing economic, political, philosophic, and sociological issues affecting Black people. As we see it, the challenge facing the Journal is threefold:
First, the Journal aims to disrupt the centering of whiteness in legal academia. We hope our journal will ultimately serve Black communities by infusing intellectual discourse with provocative and innovative scholarship, thus deepening thinking about policy options and choices.
Second, the Journal will give rise to the voices of emerging scholars, organizers, and advocates. The Journal will bring these folks into conversation with community members, professors, judges, policy-makers, and practitioners.
Finally, we see the Journal as a training ground where students can sharpen their editing and writing skills, and gain experience in critical thinking by wrestling with ideas revolving around Black liberation, equality, and justice.
Our Past and Present
The African-American Law & Policy Report (ALPR) was founded at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 1992 to provide an alternative forum to address legal and policy issues of concern to African Americans. But, its roots hearken back to the Black Law Journal (presently the National Black Law Journal) established in 1971 at UCLA School of Law.
The Black Law Journal represented a collaborative effort, with students at other schools occasionally publishing individual issues of the Black Law Journal with the assistance of UCLA and their home law schools. In 1987, UCLA and Berkeley Law published a joint issue of the Black Law Journal. Just five years later, with the founding of ALPR, students at Berkeley Law expanded and institutionalized their roles as contributors to Black legal scholarship.
In 1994, the first volume of the African-American Law & Policy Report was published. At that time, ALPR was one of only three Black law journals in the nation. Those three journals occupied a unique space in legal academia because they attended to scholarship and topics that were otherwise ignored. The Editors-in-Chief of ALPR’s inaugural issue, Mario Barnes and Angela Watkins, recognized that “if the stories of minority scholars were widely accepted and published in majority law journals, if the problems strangling minority communities were often the focus of scholarly discourse, then we probably would not need this journal.” We need this journal now as much as then.
The 1996 passage of Proposition 209 marked the end of race-conscious admissions in California’s public schools. Proposition 209 paved the way for the re-segregation of higher education and hampered the possibility of a healthy and striving Black law journal. In 1997, Berkeley Law enrolled one Black student. That same year, ALPR published its third volume. The conspicuous absence of African-Americans at Berkeley Law had a debilitating effect on ALPR, making regular publication difficult. For the next several years ALPR departed from its normal annual publication schedule and published only two volumes, both of which were in collaboration with other law journals on campus.
In 2003, we published our first independent volume since the passage of Proposition 209. Although the publication was not without difficulty, it signified the rebirth of the African-American Law & Policy Report. In Fall 2005, we changed our name to the Berkeley Journal of African-American Law & Policy (BJALP).
Our past several volumes clearly illustrate that BJALP has decisively reclaimed its rightful place as one of the preeminent scholarly journals for and about the African-American community. This academic year, BJALP published its twenty-first volume.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us.
(Email is the most efficient means of communication).
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley Journal of African-American Law & Policy
6 Law Building #7200
Berkeley, CA 94720 - 7220