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Sheryll D. Cashin
Huntsville, Alabama
Occupation Law Professor, Georgetown University
Education Vanderbilt University, Oxford University, Harvard Law School
Genres Law, Race relations
Notable work(s) The Agitator's Daughter, The Failures of Integration
Spouse(s) Marque Chambliss
Children Twin boys, Logan and Langston

Sheryll D. Cashin was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama, where her parents were political activists. [1] Her mother Joan and father John were both involved in the civil rights movement, which greatly influenced her belief about the importance of political engagement, and instilled values which she researches and discusses today. [2]


Family and Home

Political involvement and activism has been a very common ideal in Sheryll Cashin’s family which is what subsequently has led to Cashin’s pursuit of racial issues including segregation and inequality. At the start of the civil rights movement in early 1962, and at four months old, Cashin’s mother was arrested while being involved in a sit-in protest at a lunch counter, while still holding on to Sheryll. Her father John was a dentist and was also one of the most influential civil-rights leaders in Huntsville and Alabama in the late 1960’s. He founded a black-led third party in Alabama, the National Democratic Party of Alabama (NDPA), during the height of George Wallace’s hegemony and succeeded in efforts to enfranchise thousands of voters who had previously been excluded from the political process through Jim Crow laws. [3] Cashin’s great-grandfather, Herschel V. Cashin was a radical Republican legislator in Alabama during Reconstruction. He was born in Antebellum, Georgia, and was the child of a white Irishman and a free-mulatto woman. [4]

Sheryll Cashin’s family also became the first black family on the block, when they moved in 1966 from Lydia Drive in northwest Huntsville to Owens Drive, at the foot of Monte Sano. [5]


Sheryll Cashin graduated summa cum laude from Vanderbilt University in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. She also obtained her masters in English Law with honors from Oxford University in 1986 as a Marshall Scholar, and obtained her JD with honors from Harvard Law School. [6]


While working in the Clinton White House, Cashin served as an advisor on urban and economic policy, particularly concerning community development in inner-city neighborhoods. She was also law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and Judge Abner Mikva of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.[7]

Sheryll Cashin also worked as an Associate Counsel for the Office of Transition Counsel and as an associate at Sirote & Permutt, P.C. [8]

As a Professor of Law at Georgetown University, Sheryll Cashin teaches Constitutional Law, Local Government Law, Property, Administrative Law, and Race and American Law. She writes about race relations, government and inequality in America, as well as housing segregation. [9]

Literary Career

Sheryll Cashin has written two books so far: The Failures of Integration: How Race and Class are Undermining the American Dream, which depicts how segregation by race and class is ruining American democracy. After studying data on school enrollment and census tracts, Cashin drew that racial separation still persists in schools and communities. She argues that we need a transformation of the now ingrained assumption that separation is acceptable-in order to solve the riddle of inequality in America." [10]

The Agitator's Daughter: A Memoir of Four Generations of One Extraordinary African-American Family. This book covers the arc of U.S. relations from slavery through the post-civil rights era. [11]

Cashin has also contributed book chapters. She also has written journal articles, and is a frequent radio and T.V. commentator. She has appeared on NPR All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, The Tavis Smiley Show, The Newshour With Jim Leher, CNN, BET, ABC News, and numerous local programs. [12]

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