Jun. 13, 2017

Thurgood Marshall, Black America's Regal Legal Eagle

Tuesday, June 13, 1967

50th Anniversary of Thurgood Marshall’s Nomination 

Supreme Court Associate Justice

The Constitution of the United States Was Justice Marshall’s Wakanda

Our Legal T’Challa - Thurgood Marshall

 

I have indeed learned quite a bit about Thurgood Marshall during my readings in Project Uplift Literacy. Oh, I know he was Baltimore-born, Baltimore-bred, Frederick Douglass High School educated, a graduate of both Howard University and Howard University’s Law School. I also know that he was the regal legal eagle for the National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People’s Legal Defense Fund. He, along with Roger Carter, Charles Houston, and others lead the fight for equal rights for Black people in the 1940’s through the 1960’s. It was Thurgood Marshall who argued before the Supreme Court the now famous Brown vs. The Board of Education case that was decided in 1954 under Chief Justice Earl Warren’s Court.  I also have read the rumors that Justice Marshall didn’t have kind words to say about Martin Luther King Jr., and that he openly despised Stokely Carmichael. I also have read that he felt that Muhammad Ali really had no justification in his case against the United States Draft Board. I also have read that he was aligned with J. Edgar Hoover in getting damaging information about certain figures of the civil rights movement. Yet, you must understand the times in which this great man of justice operated. Thurgood Marshall believed in that the ultimate victory for full citizenship laid in the frameworks of our United States Constitution. Thurgood Marshall also firmly believed in the democracy for which this country was founded. While the union of the country was not perfect by any means. It was the union of the country that would eventually secure the rights of black people in America. You see for Thurgood Marshall, the Constitution with all its flaws was the Wakanda that would secure our rights as citizens in this nation. Thurgood Marshall was the legal T’Challa that represented us during our most trying times facing injustice in Jim Crow America.  Derrick Bell felt that maybe if the Supreme Court had upheld the Topeka Kansas Board of Education and demanded that the states meet the equal part of separate but equal. That maybe we as a people would have fared better than the actual decision that overthrew the Plessy decision that legalized segregation in this country. You see the states did a fantastic job separating the races but totally ignored making equal those things that separated blacks from whites. Separate but equal worked well for whites but was a miserable failure for blacks. had the court mandated that each and every state meet the equal criteria may be what happened with the 1954 decision would have been totally different. However, we can only go on what did occur not on a hypothesis of might have been. So today in his words, my voice from 1953 the legal argument presented by the then-NAACP lawyer, and future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Oh, how I wish Clarence Thomas was more Marshall than Scalia.