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And Justice For All – Thurgood Marshall / Black History Profile February 15, 2012

Posted by msbobbieg in Uncategorized.
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Justice Thurgood Marshall

 
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And Justice For All

By: Bobbie Jones

  

             He was tall and his skin was as smooth as silk.  He was caramel in color and that smile of his could light up the night.  He was kind and considerate to those around him and when he offered up his influence people just fell at his feet.  So, you think I am describing a movie star or captivating celebrity – right?  Sorry to disappoint you but the man who matches this description actually walked the mighty Supreme Court halls of justice.

 

            The man of whom I speak fought causes that changed the course of life for many Americans.  Yes, Thurgood Marshall was a champion of Civil Rights and he became a fighter for those who couldn’t fight for themselves.

 

   Marshall faced his own discrimination early on in life but his God given smarts and patience to fight within the system even when the system was totally against him served him well. Born in Baltimore, Maryland and growing up the grandson of a slave Marshall understood that life for the colored man was not going to be easy but he dreamed of a better life in spite of the odds.  In 1925 he graduated from high school and followed his older brother to a beautifully historically black university in Pennsylvania.

 

            Imagine if you will, being in class with some of the nation’s greatest minds that would later become some of the most distinguished black leaders of an era – well Lincoln University provided Mr. Marshall with that coveted and  prized opportunity.  Langston Hughes, esteemed writer, and Cab Callaway, musician were just two of the names Marshall rubbed shoulders with.

 

            In 1930 after graduating college Marshall applied to the University of Maryland Law School and was quickly denied admission. You see, in 1930 blacks were not allowed to attend so-called white universities.  I would be lying if I told you that this snub did not move Thurgood to re-think his life’s ambition.  It was a deep hurt and blow to his character but he quickly recovered and that same year applied to Howard University Law School another historically black university and he excelled.

 

   1933 would provide Marshall the chance to test his legal legs in a court case that would destroy the previously held believed that when it came to the races “Separate but equal” should be the law of the land.  In order to destroy that myth Marshall had to revisit a university that had denied him a right to an education.  He sued the University of Maryland and won.  However, he did not take the university to court on behalf of himself – he actually fought on behalf of another young African American student named Donald Gaines Murray, whom was also denied admission and that my friends was the makings of a true champion in action.  He extended his helping hand and changed the life of someone else.

 

            Marshall would continue to fight the hard fight for the underdogs but the stories I enjoyed when it came to Marshall was those told by the young lawyers he mentored.  He would take time out after a long day at the court house and sit with these young, developing minds and tell stories and just laugh and play it up and all the while he would be teaching and sharing his wisdom as well as his kindness.  Marshall spent countless  dollars on taking his young staff out to lunch, dinner and cab rides home for those that had to work late into the night.

 

   However, 1954 would bring about a case that would change the course of history and Marshall would be right at the forefront.  You may have heard of it – the little case Brown v. the Board of Education.  Well, maybe it was not such a little case.  Simply put when Thurgood Marshall won this landmark case it meant that all Americans had the right to go to whatever school, institution or public building of their choosing – It demolished legal basis for segregation in American and it was one hard fight but Mr. Marshall was up for the challenge.

 

    In 1965 after years of fighting successfully for United State citizens Marshall was appointed U.S. solicitor general by President Lyndon Baines Johnson and wins 14 of the 19 cases he argues for the government.  And in 1967 he became the first African American to sit on the U.S. Supreme court where he remained until he retired in 1991.

 

            Mr. Thurgood Marshall took it upon himself to display kindness, love and a helping hand to all he came in contact with and he made it his business that on his watch we Americans would never be lacking in (Justice for All) – and for that we thank you Mr. Marshall.

 

God Bless and Good Luck

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– Photos courtesy of Google Images on the Web

–  Videos courtesy of You Tube

–  Additional Photos taken by Ms. Bobbie Jones

Copyright (c) Bobbie Jones – February 2012

– All Rights Reserved

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