Part of HuffPost Politics. He was one of the lawyers who argued You ain’t gonna shoot me in the back, we’ll go together. A: I felt that, Irvin’s mother had me awake all night, every night. Marshall received the inaugural award in 1992. In addition, he successfully brought lawsuits that integrated other state universities. In early 1954, the nation awaited the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which could fundamentally change access to education across the country. His dad worked at a club and him mother was a teacher. “In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.” 2. And the sheriff, Willis McCall, did everything including shooting him and what he didn’t do to him wasn’t possible, he was just determined. And he said, well, there’s only one more train comes through here and that’s four o’clock and you’d better be on it because the sun is never going down on a live Nigger in this town. "Yowsa, yowsa," Marshall responded, accentuating his southern accent, then pushed the button. About the Film: For Civil rights attorney Thurgood Marshall, the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision to desegregate America’s public schools completed the final leg of an heroic journey to end legal segregation. She had the most impressive face I’ve ever seen on a woman, real high cheekbones and a whole lot of red in that black, a whole lot of red, and lot of Indian. I turned around to look and they were gone. ‘Marshall’ turns Thurgood into the contemporary hero Americans want, but ignores the one he was. Here’s how. I agree. Date Event; July 2, 1908: Thurgood Marshall is born Thurgood Marshall was born in Maryland. In Amalgamated Food Employees Union v. Logan Valley Plaza (1968), Marshall's majority opinion ruled that a shopping center was a "public forum" and could not exclude picketers. He recalled arriving in town one day only to learn that his client had been lynched that afternoon. 3. MARSHALL-MOTLEY SCHOLARS PROGRAM Join the next generation of civil rights lawyers. The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame. Some of Marshall’s best-known quotes include: 1. I agree. Q: Where’d you go from there? His mother pawned her wedding and engagement rings to pay the entrance fees, and Marshall commuted each day from Baltimore so he could live at home and save money. I haven’t had a drink in a couple of days. Marshall wanted to attend the University of Maryland's law school, a few blocks from his home, but it barred blacks. He was already a famous lawyer, and certainly America's most prominent black attorney, when Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him to the Court in 1967. A: To Nashville. “The Legal Attack to Secure Civil Rights,” July 13, 1942. Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sought to, “to achieve equality of rights and eliminate race prejudice among the citizens of the United States. Marshall had been one of the NAACP's top lawyers. When they saw Marshall, they mistook him for the elevator operator. Upcoming Episodes. He said you see that man over there just lit up a cigar? We didn’t know until afterwards that’s where the mob was waiting. Du Bois’ office was right next to mine. He said what’s up? Marshall advocated on behalf of the NAACP to challenge the south’s policy of segregation in education. Another story concerned some white tourists who were visiting the US Supreme Court and mistakenly entered an elevator that was reserved for the justices. But I talked to the janitor of the building, he was there one day and I was saying something, and he said, you know that Dr. Du Bois and all those books he’s got in his room? Decades before Thurgood Marshall was sworn into the U.S. Supreme Court on October 2, 1967, the man who would become its first Black justice had already transformed American law. Looby was driving and they pulled him over and they said you weren’t driving this car were you? The organization’s legal goal, developed by Houston and his growing team of civil rights lawyers, was to … His most recent book is The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame, published by Nation Books. February, 1956. In April 1941, Thurgood Marshall is an NAACP lawyer traveling the country defending people of color who are wrongly accused of crimes because of racial prejudice. He had become famous for defending cases with black defendants, as an NAACP lawyer, and as head of legal defense for the agency. Thurgood Marshall. One of his favorite concerned his days as the head of the legal arm of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in the 1930s and 1940s representing black clients facing prosecution in the South. As a young man, perhaps the person who had the most influence on him was his father, a man who always told his son to stand up for his beliefs. In his dissent, Marshall argued that the system "deprives children in their earliest years of the chance to reach their full potential as citizens" by denying them an equally funded public education. The civil rights groups had recently begun to operate a full-time legal office, which was run by his old dean, Charles Houston. His father, who had been a Pullman car waiter, worked as a steward at an exclusive, all-white yacht club. Many people know Thurgood Marshall as the first African American Supreme Court justice. He said he’d got an uncle. You’re drunk. Four members of the NAACP (from left to right, Henry Moon, Roy Wilkins, Herbert Hill and Thurgood Marshall) hold a poster against racial injustice in Mississippi. McCall was the sheriff. In 1936, Marshall became the NAACPs chief legal counsel. Not enough of the real NAACP lawyer shows up in Chadwick Boseman’s portrayal I said, well, I’m going to make an objection. As one of his clients recalled, "until Marshall came, [that] law was whatever a white lawyer or white policeman or white judge said it was.". As an attorney, he successfully argued before the Supreme Court the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954). APPLY NOW . Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP . Southern senators held up the appointment for almost a year, challenging his legal credentials but obviously opposed to him because he was black and a civil rights pioneer. At Howard, where he was first in his class, he was mentored by Charles Houston, a professor and leader of the NAACP (the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). “History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.” 5. Fine. His dad worked at a club and him mother was a teacher. He handled many of the cases himself, recruited new lawyers, and traveled around the country, especially the South, looking for plaintiffs for future cases. February 7, 2021 3:00 am on WORLD | Episode #0 | 57 minutes . He broke down racial barriers, including achieving one of the highest positions in the government as a member of the Supreme Court. “To protest against injustice is the foundation of all our American democracy." In Bounds v. Smith (1977) he wrote the majority opinion ruling that state prisons must provide inmates with "adequate law libraries or adequate assistance from persons trained in the law.". But Brown was Marshall's crowning achievement at the NAACP. Vivian "Buster" Burey Marshall was an American civil rights activist and was married for 25 years until her death to Thurgood Marshall, lead counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, who also managed Brown v. Board of Education (1954). "He was supposed to have raped this woman four times in one night," recalled Marshall. A Thurgood Marshall timeline: provided by A Deeper Shade of Black. I said the same answer he gave. Q: You were defending Lloyd Kennedy and William Pillow after a race riot (in Columbia, Tennessee) and they were accused of shooting a cop. He earned an undergraduate degree from Lincoln University in 1930 and a law degree from Howard University Law School in 1933. Marshall interrupted, saying, "It would have been cheaper to shoot him right after he was arrested, wouldn't it?". And so go toward them, but not from them. His mother was an elementary school teacher. Marshall graduated with honors in 1930 from Lincoln University, where he was an outstanding debater. This is a timeline of his life events. The NAACP shared a statement from Cissy Marshall, the justice's 92-year-old widow, who said the fund is especially meaningful to her "because of Thurgood… Every one of those jurors has got a Shriners pin, did you notice that? Charles Hamilton Houston, the vice dean, viewed the law school as training "social engineers" who could use the law to challenge segregation. Thurgood Marshall in front of the Supreme Court building (left) and with Autherine Lucy and fellow NAACP attorney Arthur Shore outside Birmingham's Federal Court during Lucy's campaign to desegregate the University of Alabama. But when they needed attorneys, it was the NAACP they turned to. Marshall was chief counsel for the NAACP and argued numerous civil rights cases before the Supreme Court. Autherine Lucy and Thurgood Marshall, her lawyer, entering the NAACP office for a press conference. After President Johnson appointed Marshall to the Supreme Court in 1967, he joined a strong liberal majority and advanced bold ideas expanding civil rights and free speech. The civil rights groups had recently begun to operate a full-time legal office, which was run by his old dean, Charles Houston. Like his closest ally, Justice William J. Brennan Jr., Marshall believed that the death penalty was unconstitutional under all circumstances. Thurgood Marshall (1908 – 1993) was a civil rights lawyer and the first African-American appointed to the US Supreme Court Justice. Two years later, at age thirty, Marshall became chief counsel when Houston returned to Howard. Marshall's clients included the activists who staged lunch counter sit-ins and integrated southern buses in freedom rides. Immediately after advancing from law school, Thurgood Marshall began practicing law in Baltimore. He sued school districts in South Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, the District of Columbia, and Kansas on behalf of local parents and students. I said, what the hell you talking about? What happens if he’s found not guilty? One of his best known was in a 1973 case, San Antonio School District v. Rodriguez, in which the court ruled by a 5-4 vote that Texas's system of funding public schools through property taxes--which meant that wealthy communities spent much more than poor ones--did not violate the Constitution's equal protection mandate. At least a hundred. After Marshall and Davis made their arguments in 1952, the court was divided. E.P. With Jose Anderson, Kimberle Crenshaw, Mary Easter, Larry Gibson. Considered the leading appellate lawyer in the country, Davis had argued some 140 cases before the Supreme Court. So they put me in a police car and they went back to Columbia. Thurgood Marshall, a trailblazer, in the Supreme Court. His most important victory was the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954, which overturned the legality of the long-standing "separate but equal" system of racial segregation governing public education. From PBS - Civil rights attorney Thurgood Marshall's triumph in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision to desegregate America's public schools completed the final leg of a journey of over 20 years laying the groundwork to end legal segregation. And he just walked off. Marshall successfully challenged the board to only litig… He said, yeah, as a matter of fact, it was four. Thurgood Marshall argued, and won more US Supreme Court cases than anyone in history. This combo of file photos from Washington show Supreme Court Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall on Oct. 24, 1967; and Constance Baker Motley, nominated to be judge of the southern district of New York, at her confirmation hearing, on April 4, 1966. Q: This guy had been reversed on appeal before you came? His majority opinion in Stanley v. Georgia (1969) held that the possession of pornography in the privacy of one's home could not be subject to prosecution. A: Guilty. They said they looked in there and they couldn’t find any liquor in the car so one of them said, do you permit us to search your person? So he went over and talked to his mother and his uncle and the three of them came back and he said, well I guess this is the only way out and I said, well, it’s up to you. And when I went down for the trial, a white man met me in the hallway and it was real tense, state troopers and everything. I remembe that his whole room was fenced in with books that ran all the way around the room and we were always impressed by it of course. He said several of those jurors obviously are cigar smokers and they’re not going to waste that cigar. The cases were consolidated under the Kansas lawsuit, Oliver Brown et al. None of the 112 opinions he wrote on that court was overturned on appeal. I thought Du Bois was a great guy until the time … and he really made a living out of it. How Thurgood Marshall became the first Black U.S. Supreme Court justice. He endured repeated death threats. Most significant was Brown v. Boar… Thurgood Marshall told his biographer Juan Williams, who wrote Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary, that press coverage of the case sparked eye-rolling laughs at the NAACP offices. Thurgood Marshall, who was born on this date in 1908, liked telling stories. They left, yes. He said drunken driving. Peter Dreier is the E.P. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. I said drunken driving? While on the road, he usually stayed in private homes because no hotel, restaurant, or public restroom was open to him. Wife of Thurgood Marshall This is a must watch movie. As his liberal colleagues left the court, to be replaced by four conservative justices appointed by Richard Nixon, the court's center of gravity shifted, and Marshall became well-known for his articulate dissenting opinions. He said, I can tell. Interesting Facts about Thurgood Marshall I said, nothing, just stand up there and when they say are you guilty or not guilty, you say: I’m guilty. In 1950 Marshall won two Supreme Court cases--Sweatt v. Painter and McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents--that challenged segregation in graduate schools. In 1936, Marshall and his wife moved to New York. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. 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