Thurgood Marshall

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 1351
  • Published : July 4, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Thurgood Marshall was a great African American Civil Rights activist who changed a lot of lives in the United States. As a passionate lawyer and prominent Supreme Court justice he fought for Civil Rights and social justice in the courts and believed that racial integration is best for all schools. Very early in his professional life Marshall broke down racial barriers and overcame resistance despite the odds. He then became a role model of the disciplined leader, although he didn’t have the religious qualities or charisma as Martin Luther King. However, in terms of achievements, most of us would agree that he should be ranked next to Martin Luther King Jr. Thurgood was particularly famous for winning the Brown vs. Board of Education case, where the Supreme Court case had said that black children should go to school with white children. He helped many Americans win their civil rights, which is one of the many unique qualities that marked Marshall’s accomplishments. Those who knew Thurgood Marshall could specifically testify to his other vocations, some of which included the training and mentoring of young lawyers, thereby helping them to achieve their potentials.

Thurgood Marshall was very persistent and never gave up, nor stood up for himself, but stood up for what he believed in and therefore he is a very strong leader. Our US political system is a democracy and the justice system is an important aspect of our government. Essentially, all courts in the United States are authorized to enforce the Constitution, as well as state and local laws. Since Thurgood Marshall was one such advocate who made it possible to enforce laws surrounding race and human equality, I strongly believe he should be included in our high school history and civics curriculums.

Over the years there had been several strong views concerning the necessity of teaching Thurgood Marshall and his accomplishments in our schools. I believe Marshall had made very significant impacts in US history which our generation should know a lot about. To start with, Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland on July 2, 1908. He was the grandson of a slave. His father, William Marshall, instilled in him from youth an appreciation for the United States Constitution and the rule of law from the very beginning. In 1930, Marshall applied to the University of Maryland Law School, but was denied admission just because he was Black. This event disturbed him and helped direct his future professional life. Thurgood then sought admission to the Howard University Law School and was accepted that same year and came under the immediate attention of the dynamic new dean, Charles Hamilton Houston, who instilled in all of his students the desire to apply the beliefs of the Constitution to all Americans. This gave Thurgood Marshall enough drive to follow his Howard University mentor. Marshall later became Chief Counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). During this period, Mr. Marshall was asked by the United Nations and the United Kingdom to help draft the constitutions of the emerging African nations of Ghana and the country of Tanzania.

The life of Marshall and the legacy that he left behind has had a lot of impact on our current U.S. judiciary system today. As we look very closely at his accomplishments, one of the things we noticed was the fact that he broke racial barriers. In those days when Marshall graduated from Law School, times were tough and the United States was in a state of terrible economic depression and forty percent of American blacks were on welfare. In order to help the poor blacks, Marshall developed a genius for ignoring cases that might earn him any money, and in in order to keep his office running, he had to take on part-time job as a file clerk at a Baltimore health clinic. (1, 21)

Through Marshall’s idealized behavior and accomplishments, he served as a positive...
tracking img