Mr. David N. Lawyer, Jr.
Annual Faculty Lecturer 1996-1997
DAVID N. LAWYER, JR. was born in New York City; he was part of the first wave of "baby boomers." He grew up in Harlem, a rich and vibrant community, and attended elementary schools there. His family moved to California, first to Los Angeles and later to Oxnard. After a successful career at Oxnard High School, where he was Student Body President, Valedictorian and All-American basketball player, he matriculated at Princeton University. David began his collegiate studies as an engineering student, but later shifted to the field of political science. His senior thesis, for which he received a department award, was entitled "The Black Badge: A Study of Black Police Officers in New York City." He continued with his athletic endeavors, playing basketball on several nationally-ranked teams and competing in track and field. He was also a member of the Cottage Club. David graduated from Princeton with an A.B. degree in 1968.
David intended to enroll in law school, but that opportunity was not available due to the war in Vietnam. So, he entered the profession that many of his family members had pursued for generations-education. In 1968, he began teaching at the Thacher School in Ojai. The following year, he was offered a position in the Department of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, teaching two upper-division courses in African-American History. ln November 1969, David became a member of the faculty at Santa Barbara City College. He continued to teach at UCSB in several different departments as a Visiting Lecturer until 1977. During this period, David pursued a graduate course of study in Political Science at UCSB, where he received an M.A. degree (cum laude) in 1971 and a C. Phil. in 1974.
AT SBCC, DAVID has taught in several departments and is currently Professor of American Ethnic Studies and Political Science. He was instrumental in the creation of the American Ethnic Studies Department in 1972, of which he has served as Chair since its founding. In the American Ethnic Studies Department, he teaches courses in African-American History and Racism in America; in the Political Science Department, he teaches courses in American Government and Politics, and Law and Society. Over the years, David has held several faculty leadership positions, as a member of the Representative Council of the Academic Senate, a member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Reassigned Time, and Social Science Division Chair. He is currently Chair of the EOPS/Financial Aid Advisory Committee. He is particularly proud of his role in the development of the early calendar.
David is married to the former Tracey Scott of Inglewood. She is a homemaker and a student at California State University, Northridge (Ventura Campus). They have four children: David (27), Kerry (24), Tracye (19) and Kymberly (3). They also have two grandchildren: Jamil (5) and Andre (4).