Jun. 13, 2019
June 13, 1967 - Thurgood Marshall Nominated To The Nation's Highest Court
Thurgood Marshall wasn’t a perfect man. No man who resides in this world lives a life deemed perfect. Was it not the Jesus Christ that stated let the man without any sin cast the first stone? Perfection is a goal that is unattainable except maybe on just that one day a baseball pitcher records 27 outs. Thurgood Marshall like myself was born in Baltimore City. He, however, was born during a period of time that racism and segregation were at its pinnacle. Myself, I was born the year of Thurgood Marshall's greatest triumph, the unanimous decision by the Earl Warren Supreme Court that struck down the country's separate but equal state statutes in public education, 1954.
I imagine that on the day of that court victory, May 17, 1954, the furthest thing from Thurgood Marshall's mind was that 13 years later he would achieve the nomination to that very court. One of Lyndon Baines Johnson's greatest achievement was providing the pathway to the Supreme Court for Thurgood Marshall. Thurgood Marshall fought the numerous battles involved in securing a society that would be based on one's content of character and not one's skin color. I'm sure that even in 2019, Thurgood Marshall would be totally disappointed in America's progress in attaining that goal. For as comprehensive a battle for public school integration was for Thurgood Marshall and the of attorneys working for the NAACP. The very fact that so many public schools in America are still cast by skin color is disheartening. I truly think that a nation still waiting after 65 years to truly confront this issue would have disturbed Thurgood Marshall greatly.
There are many injustices in this nation that still exist but Thurgood Marshall's battles against the injustices in this nation were historic confrontations. Thurgood Marshall risked his life numerous times traveling deep south to uncover injustice. It was his calling. I'm am sure that Thurgood Marshall could've had a cushy office in a New York firm. Yet, Thurgood Marshall choose to work in the cramped office at the NAACP national headquarters. You see Thurgood Marshall had an inner desire to seek perfect justice his black communities across the United States. It was that lifelong mission that continues to hold the spirit of Thurgood Marshall in the highest of esteem.
Thurgood Marshall strongly believed in the virtues of the American Constitution, it's law and the Constitution's ability to fight the oppressive forces of bigotry, hate, and repression of black Americans.
Even though the founding fathers had a flawed vision of African Americans. Thurgood Marshall understood that these men were not perfect, nor was the Constitution perfect. He believed that the evolved Constitution could be made more perfect, however. That was Thurgood Marshall's greatest gift finding the pathway to that more perfect document.
Thurgood Marshall was a stout integrationist who never seemingly wavered that in the final analysis in America man’s humanness would defeat man’s propensity to act against the grander democratic principles of an evolving Constitution Thurgood Marshall believed that forces of integration would overcome the embedded forces of institutional racism. Thurgood Marshall never settled for a stance any less than the stance of complete citizenship for any American regardless of race, creed, or social stature. You may disagree with his premise of how effective integration was, or should be, but you can never waver in Thurgood Marshall’s love for people of color. He didn’t want a separate America that ignored the rights of the many for the protection of the rights of the few. Today, The Blackman Who Reads Aloud honors Thurgood Marshall by reading his powerful words related to man's imperfections.