Thurgood Marshall

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by jessicamcdade
Last updated 3 years ago

Discipline:
Social Studies
Subject:
Historical biographies
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Thurgood Marshall

The case Marshall and Houston won involved a familiar problem. An African American student wanted to go to law school at the University of Maryland. The university said it was only allowed to have white students. Marshall and Houston said African Americans should be allowed to attend. They said Maryland did not have an all-black law school. The court agreed with Marshall and Houston. Houston asked Marshall to work for the NAACP full time. After two years, Marshall took over Houston’s job as the lead lawyer.Marshall and Houston knew that winning the case against the university was important. They wanted to end segregation in all universities. They started taking cases against the numerous universities in the United States. Several cases were brought to the Supreme Court. Marshall and Houston won them all! New laws helped African American students. The Supreme Court said that universities could not keep out students because of their race. In 1954, the Supreme Court said that “separate but equal” is not equal at all.

Thursgood Marshall

Ticket Out The DoorOn a post-it note, write at least 2 things you learned about Thurgood Marshall

boycottcivil rightsauthoritysegregationdebatefreedom of conscience and expressionjusticecitizen

For many years, African Americans who lived in the South were not treated the same as other people in the United States. The laws said that African Americans had to go to different restrooms and drinking fountains. These laws were unfair. Many people did not try to protect the rights of African Americans. However, a few people did try to protect their rights. One of these people was Thurgood Marshall. He thought that all African Americans should have the same rights as white Americans. He spoke out against this unfair treatment, or injustice. Marshall held on to his dream. He became the first African American judge, or justice, on the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is the most powerful court in our country.Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1908. His parents encouraged him, and gave him to use facts to prove his ideas. His father often took him to the local courthouse. They would watch the encounters between lawyers and judges. Marshall was a good student. However, sometimes he interrupted his teacher. He had to learn parts of the United States Constitution as his punishment. This is how Marshall learned about “equal rights.” The ideas he learned helped him make his dream come true.

For many years, African Americans who lived in the South were not treated the same as other people in the United States. The laws said that African Americans had to go to different restrooms and drinking fountains. These laws were unfair. Many people did not try to protect the rights of African Americans. However, a few people did try to protect their rights. One of these people was Thurgood Marshall. He thought that all African Americans should have the same rights as white Americans. He spoke out against this unfair treatment, or injustice. Marshall held on to his dream. He became the first African American judge, or justice, on the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is the most powerful court in our country.Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1908. His parents encouraged him, and gave him to use facts to prove his ideas. His father often took him to the local courthouse. They would watch the encounters between lawyers and judges. Marshall was a good student. However, sometimes he interrupted his teacher. He had to learn parts of the United States Constitution as his punishment. This is how Marshall learned about “equal rights.” The ideas he learned helped him make his dream come true.

Making a Point

A Young Dreamer

Marshall wanted to go to the law school at the University of Maryland. But African American students were not allowed to go to this school. Marshall went to law school at Howard University instead. Howard University was an all-black school in Washington, DC. Marshall met Charles Houston at Howard University. He was a teacher who captured Marshall’s attention. Houston believed segregation was wrong. He thought all Americans should have equal rights. Houston was a strong example for Marshall.Marshall finished law school in 1933. After law school, he worked as a lawyer in Baltimore. He wanted to help end segregation. He joined a group called the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). This group tried to use the law to gain equal rights for African Americans. Charles Houston became the lead lawyer for the NAACP. Marshall helped him. In 1935, the two men won an important case against segregation.

Becoming a Lawyer

The NAACP wanted to end segregation in all public elementary and high schools. It was time to end segregation in all schools in the United States. The case that changed history is called Brown versus the Board of Education. The case went before the Supreme Court in 1954. The lead lawyer was Thurgood Marshall. He was a good lawyer. He had already won 29 of 32 cases that he brought to the Supreme Court.Linda Brown was a third grader in Topeka, Kansas. She had to walk a mile to go to an all-black school. Monroe Elementary School was closer to her house. Linda could not go to this school because she was an African American. Linda Brown’s parents wanted to change the unfair rules. They called the NAACP for some help. Marshall brought the case to the Supreme Court. He used his knowledge of the Constitution in his case. He said that separate schools for only blacks and only whites were unfair. The Constitution did not support segregated schools. In 1954, the Supreme Court agreed with Marshall. The Brown case was a victory for all African Americans in the United States. The victory meant that segregation was not allowed anymore.

The Brown Case

Fighting Segregation

The Brown case made Thurgood Marshall famous. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson chose Marshall to represent the entire United States as a lawyer in Supreme Court cases. Then, on June 13, 1967, President Johnson chose Marshall as the first African American Supreme Court justice. Marshall spoke out for everyone. He helped workers, people of different races, and women. Thurgood Marshall worked on the Supreme Court for 24 years. He stopped working in 1991. He died in 1993. Those who knew him recall, or remember, how he helped this country. He tried to protect the rights of African Americans. He also made sure that the law was equal for all Americans.

Becoming a Supreme Court Justice

Vocabulary

More About Thurgood Marshall


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