Thurgood Marshall

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Thurgood Marshall: one of America’s most important legal activists Hilary Wing Kutztown University INTRODUCTION: This paper addresses this void by examining the life, experiences and contributions of one of America’s most important legal activists: Thurgood Marshall. More specifically, the paper will:1) provide an overview of Marshall’s early years, focusing on his encounters with racism and experiences as an African American growing up in the early-twentieth century, 2) explore his development as a legal activist and contributions as director of the NCAAP’s legal division, as well as the nation’s first African American attorney general, 3) examine his contributions to the search for justice as the nation’s first black United States Supreme Court justice, and 4) explain how our collective understanding of racism and radical theory is enhanced by examining the life of Thurgood Marshall. EARLY YEARS: The Early Battle Self-Justice, 1908-1933 Over the few years that the Marshall’s were away, the city of Baltimore had become very racially hostile. In 1914, the cities black political leaders started to become organized and opened a new branch called the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). NAACP’’s main issue was dealing with the wealthy blacks moving into white neighborhoods. The poorer black neighborhoods had a horrible run with typhoid and tuberculosis and the white did not want any of the blacks near their home areas (Williams, 1998). According to Williams (1996), the next year, Thurgood started school at a segregated but the best colored elementary school in Baltimore. As an after school job, he was a grocery delivery boy, and because of the job became acquainted with the Jews in the neighborhood. For the most part, black would not have much if any contact with any whites. Research by J. Williams (1996), claimed that there was a rule set by his father, “that if any policeman entered his house without permission, that he would...
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