Primary Sources & Lesson Plans
Susan Maze-Rothstein grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts, in the
1960s and 1970s. Despite the generally liberal tenor of the times
and the progressive nature of the town, Susan was the victim of discrimination.
The child of a white father and black mother, and a resident of the
towns lower-income housing projects, she was subjected to negative
stereotyping and behavior because of both her race and class. While
some of this sentiment was manifested through physical violence, most
came in the form of indifference and neglect on the part of school
officials and church leaders. Despite these obstacles, she went on
to obtain a B.A. from Cornell and a J.D. from Boston College. Maze-Rothstein
now serves an Administrative Law Judge at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Department of Industrial Accidents and an adjunct professor at Northeastern
University School of Law. She teaches law students to address issues
of difference in the law through her Law, Culture and Difference course
and the Community Lawyering Program.
1. What do you conclude about the town, Brookline, from Maze-Rothsteins remarks? Would it be possible for anyone to say the same thing about the town in which you live?
2. How did the perceptions of others help shape Maze-Rothsteins self-image? How did Maze-Rothstein use others more limited views of her to develop an appreciation for her rich and diverse background?
How to Cite This Page