Thurgood Marshall: Civil Rights Icon

Thurgood Marshall is known by most Americans as a Supreme Court Justice. But his impact on the lives of African Americans was felt most from his work as an NAACP lawyer defending the civil rights of Black people and getting Supreme Court rulings that overcame years of Jim Crow laws and discrimination. His many victories before the Court included the historic Brown vs Topeka Board of Education that ended separate and unequal which was the way blacks were treated throughout the South and the North as well. Join UUFE member David Stevens at this service where we will explore the ways Thurgood Marshall’s legacy continues to influence all of us today.
This service will be in person and online.

Thurgood Marshall circa 1955

Here is the beginning of David’s service:

When President Johnson was deciding on his pick for the Supreme Court Justice to replace Tom Clark, he was vacillating on picking Thurgood Marshall.  He was worried Southern Democrats would reject Marshall because of his civil rights background.  Still, he wanted to pick the first black Justice.  Nicholas Katzenbach, a former Attorney General and Law professor at Harvard told Johnson if he appointed anyone else the Civil Rights community would be very upset.  He said to Johnson, “If you appoint anybody, any black to that court by Thurgood Marshall, you are insulting every black in the country.  Thurgood Marshall is THE black lawyer as far as blacks are concerned – I mean there can’t be any doubt about that.”

What I have to say here at least points to why that was the case.


For the rest of the service transcript, please click here.


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