The Controversial, First Black Supreme Court Justice: Thurgood Marshall         Thurgood

1180 words - 5 pages

The Controversial, First Black Supreme Court Justice: Thurgood Marshall Thurgood Marshall was the first black man ever to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court. Marshall was one the finest and most recognized civil rights leaders of the 20th century. Marshall had a lot of liberal views that brought much controversy upon him. Marshall did what he thought would make for a better country and most certainly a more civil and obedient America. Although he faced many challenges, he overcame them to become one of the most recognized and respected Supreme Court Justices of all time. Thurgood Marshall was born on July 2, 1908 in Baltimore Maryland. He was the son of the late Norma Arica, who was among the first black women to graduate from Columbia Teacher's College in New York. Marshall's father, William C. Thurgood, worked as a railroad porter and part time as a lead steward at a club where only white people were allowed membership. Marshall's father was the first black man to serve on a grand jury in Baltimore. Marshall was named after his grandfather, a former slave who changed his name to "Thoroughgood" upon joining the United States army during the Civil War. At the age of 16, Marshall graduated from an all black high school. He continued his education at Lincoln University in Chester, Pennsylvania. It was at this time in his life that Marshall first participated in the civil rights movement. Along with a group of other African Americans, Marshall participated in a sit-in at an all-white theatre. Marshall's ambitions as a civil rights leader were becoming visible early on. Marshall graduated from Lincoln in 1930, with honors. During the same year, he married Vivian Burey who would stay happily married to Marshall until her early and unexpected death in 1955. After graduating from Lincoln in 1930, Marshall wanted to even further his education. He enrolled in Howard University Law School in Washington, D.C. Although he went to Howard, it was not his first choice; he had applied first to the University of Maryland School of Law, but was denied because of his race. In1936, Marshall started his life as liberal civil rights leader. Marshall dropped a law practice he had been involved in for three years to become a lawyer for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). It was here that Marshall started his most recognized achievements. He started developing and putting into action methods to end racial segregation. He worked with the communities he was around for support. Marshall took his cases to local, state, and also federal courts. Some of his cases reached the Supreme Court. Marshall saw that reform was needed; he argued his liberal views with passion, and in some cases it paid off. In 1940 the case Chambers v. Florida, Marshall was able to persuade the United States Supreme Court to overturn the conviction of any man or woman based on coerced confession. Again in 1944,...

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