Saturday, July 02, 2011

Happy Birthday, Thurgood

Today is the birthday of Thurgood Marshall, one of the seminal civil rights figures of this country. As Juan Williams shows in his biography, American Revolution,

as a lawyer, he "won Supreme Court victories breaking the color line in housing, transportation and voting, all of which overturned the 'Separate-but-Equal' apartheid of American life in the first half of the century. It was Marshall who won the most important legal case of the century, Brown v. Board of Education, ending the legal separation of black and white children in public schools... Marshall, as the nation's first African-American Supreme Court justice, who promoted affirmative action -- preferences, set-asides and other race conscious policies -- as the remedy for the damage remaining from the nation's history of slavery and racial bias. Justice Marshall gave a clear signal that while legal discrimination had ended, there was more to be done to advance educational opportunity for people who had been locked out and to bridge the wide canyon of economic inequity between blacks and whites."
After some of the more recent Supreme Court decisions, Marshall is missed more than ever...

Also, if you haven't seen it definitely do get and watch the Lawrence Fishburne one-man show. Brilliant work.

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