Barbara Scott Preiskel graduated from Wellesley in 1945, and in 1947, she was the second black woman to graduate from Yale Law School. After clerking with the U.S. District Court in Boston, she worked with the law firm of Dwight, Royal, Harris, Keogh, and Casey. In 1959, Preiskel joined the Motion Picture Association of America.
During her time at MPAA, Preiskel, who was senior vice president and general consul from 1977 to 1983, helped to overturn state and local censorship laws, many of which sought to ban on-screen portrayals of interracial relationships. Presiskel also served on the boards of General Electric, Levi Strauss & Company, and the Washington Post Company.
Additionally, Preiskel was active in many charitable, educational, and civic organizations, among them the New York Community Trust, the Ford Foundation, and the Women’s Economic Development Corporation. She also served as a trustee of Wellesley College, successor trustee of Yale University Corporation, and the vice chairman of the board of trustees at Tougaloo College in Mississippi. Barbara Preiskel died of leukemia in June 2002.
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