Their story actually starts with Kelvin’s father, Maxcy Filer, who left rural Arkansas and landed in Compton in the 1950s with a wife and seven kids. He worked as a milkman, a factory laborer, and a parking lot attendant, but he dreamed of becoming a lawyer. Kelvin Filer remembered how, when he was 9, his father enrolled in law school.
“My parents were very involved in the civil rights movement,” said Kelvin Filer (Stevenson ’77, politics). “My father was on the Compton City Council, started the Compton branch of the NAACP, and carried the California flag during [Martin Luther King Jr.’s] March on Washington. But he also holds the record for taking the California Bar exam.”
Maxcy Filer took the test 48 times before he passed. From 1967 to 1991.