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Vernellia Ruth Randall (born March 6, 1948 in Gladewater, Texas) is an African American writer and law professor.

She was raised in Muleshoe, Texas and Amarillo, Texas. In 1966, she graduated from Carver High School. After earning an A.A. from Amarillo College she received a B.S. from the School of Nursing at the University of Texas as well as an M.S. of Nursing from the University of Washington. After working as a nurse for over 10 years she obtained her J.D. from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She is a single mother of two adult sons, Tshaka Randall (a law professor) and Issa Randall (a fine arts photographer). She raised them while receiving welfare, attending school and developing a nursing and legal career. Randall has written an article about single-parenting.

Randall is a law professor at the University of Dayton[1] in Ohio with experience at Northwestern School of Law and Seattle University School of Law. She has many published works, including her book, Dying While Black.[2] Randall is also a public speaker on issues of health, race and representation of Blacks in the legal profession. She is an awarded webmaster of multiple sites including Race, Racism and the Law, Race, HealthCare and the Law, Online Academic Support for Law Students and The Whitest Law Schools. She is the co-founder with Tshaka Randall of "The JD Project', a non-profit dedicated to increasing the representation of people of color in the legal profession.

Her book Dying While Black provides understanding and insight into the bias of health care service based on race in the United States. She presents ideas of how slavery has contributed to poor health care for African Americans. In her book, Randall makes the statement that blacks are dying simply because they are black. She contends that the racial disparities in the American health system have led to shorter life expectancy, higher death rates, infant mortality, low birth weight rates, and high disease rates.[3]

Randall also focuses on the over-representation of whites in law schools as compared to the ratio of applications.[4] In her second annual “Whitest Law Schools Report,”[5] she noted that “of the 177 historically white law schools, 158 seated a percentage of whites greater than the national application pool.”


  1. University of Dayton faculty listing
  2. 'Dying While Black' a '40-year process' Cathy Mong, Dayton Daily News, November 16, 2006
  3. Black-White Health Gap Should Be Addressed As A Race Issue, Not Class Issue Author Says, Medical News Network, reprinted from The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, May 14, 2008
  4. New report condemns 'excess whiteness' in U.S. law schools, Karen Juanita Carrillo, New York Amsterdam News, April 29, 2004, volume=95, issue=18, pages 5–6
  5. Whitest Law Schools report

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