Mr. Hankins was an attorney who served in the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights and Criminal divisions, worked in private practice, acted as general counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and operated the Environmental Justice Clinic and taught law at Texas Southern University in Houston. The Clinic took on a variety of cases for community and grassroots public interest groups, including challenges to large-scale hog pens, DDT incinerators, petrochemical tanks, refineries, smelters, landfills. Throughout, he found a pattern in which environmental problems had become civil rights issues, where isolated communities felt that they had been taken advantage of by agencies and industries due to their color, income, and/or rural location.
Interview InformationOctober 6, 1999
Reels 2042 and 2043