Remembering the Legacy of Thurgood Marshall

Published: 07/02/2024

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(7/2/2024) By Rakeah Glass
Program Manager, The Institute for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion/Grants Management

On July 2, the day of Justice Thurgood Marshall’s birth, we remember his life and legacy. In the landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Justice Marshall famously argued and won the fight to desegregate public schools in the United States under the 14th Amendment, but

Did You Know, Thurgood Marshall…

  1. Changed his name, at the age of six, from “Thoroughgood” to what we know it to be today.
  2. Grew up in the Upton neighborhood, located in West Baltimore, at 1632 Division Street and attended PS 103, which after decades of being closed, will reopen this summer as the Thurgood Marshall Amenity Center.
  3. Attended the Colored Senior-Junior High School, now Frederick Douglass High School, which was the first high school established for African Americans in the state of Maryland.
  4. Graduated from Lincoln University, the country’s oldest historically black university, followed by Howard University School of Law.
  5. Was denied admission to the University of Maryland School of Law because of his race; however, he would later successfully sue the University of Maryland for denying admission to applicants on the basis of race [See Donald Gaines Murray and the Integration of the University of Maryland School of Law]. This case was the NAACP’s first successful school desegregation case and a precursor to Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.
  6. Faced numerous threats to his life following the landmark decision and was, subsequently, placed under FBI protection for a time.
  7. Won 29 of the 32 civil rights cases he presented before the US Supreme Court.­­
  8. Served 24 years on the Supreme Court having been appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967 and retiring in 1991.
  9. Was known as “Mr. Civil Rights,” due to his work on behalf of human rights.
  10. Is interned in Arlington National Cemetery.
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