Terry Franklin Presents “Bending the Arc of History Towards Justice” to Harvard Law Society of Illinois

Terry Franklin had been a trust and estate litigator, handling disputes including will contests for a quarter century, when he discovered a will contest from the 1840s that challenged the will done by his white fourth great-grandfather that emancipated Franklin’s fourth great-grandmother and her children and grandchildren from slavery. This discovery led Franklin to define his mission, “To Bend the Arc of History Towards Justice” by sharing the story of his ancestors and other stories like theirs. In his presentation to the Harvard Law Society of Illinois, Franklin will recount the riveting story of his ancestor Lucy Sutton and her fight in the courts to uphold the last will and testament, and he will also profile several other black women, contemporaries of Lucy, who just may have helped Lucy and her family make it to freedom. The virtual event will be held on May 5, 2021.

Franklin is an ’89 alumnus of Harvard Law School. As a trusts and estates litigator, he is uniquely qualified to tell the tale of how he discovered the legal documents that emancipated his family from slavery in 1846, and how that discovery helped him shape his personal mission, “To Bend the Arc of History Towards Justice.”