To the Editor:

As we celebrate African-American Month, I find that their goal was not for power but for truth, and that was what motivated their personal success.

One African-American that succeeded for justice was Constance Baker Motley, who was born in 1924 in New Haven.

She was a judge who began her career as a lawyer with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and, over a period of more than 20 years, argued cases that were crucial in the fund’s historic legal strategy to desegregate public schools.

These cases paved the way for the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision, Brown vs. Board of Education, that legally desegregated public schools in this country.

In 1966, she was appointed to the federal branch in New York, becoming the first African-American to become a federal judge.

She was also the first African-American woman elected to the New York State Senate in 1964, and the only woman borough president of Manhattan in 1965.

Her staying power and unflagging interest drove her to the work that would finally be recognized.

Fran Smith

New Milford