Supreme Justice: Speeches and Writings

Front Cover
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003 - Law - 336 pages

To understand fully the complexities of Thurgood Marshall's work as a practicing lawyer, civil rights advocate for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, federal judge, and the first African American appointed Solicitor General of the United States and Justice of the United States Supreme Court, these texts are indispensable.

The early speeches assembled by J. Clay Smith, Jr., focus on the Detroit riots of the 1940s and 1950s, one of the most important periods of Marshall's life, culminating in his arguments before the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education and Bolling v. Sharpe, which in 1954 struck down de jure segregation in public education. Throughout the materials from the next four decades, Marshall comes to life as a teacher, leader, and strategist, explaining, preaching, and cajoling audiences to stand up for their rights. The addresses collected by Smith present a less formal picture of Marshall, from which one can learn much about the depth of his skills and strategies to conquer racism, promote democracy, and create a world influenced by his vision for a just and moral society.

Supreme Justice reveals Marshall as a dogged opponent of unequal schools and a staunch proponent of the protection of black people from violence and the death penalty. Through his own words we see the genius of a man with an ability to inspire diverse crowds in clear language and see him also demonstrate his powers of persuasion in formal settings outside the court. His writings not only enhance our understanding of his groundbreaking advocacy in law and social conflicts, they reveal the names of men and women of all races who made significant contributions leading to Brown v. Board of Education and beyond.

 

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Contents

Marshall and Houston Jailed 1932
6
Negro Status in Boilermakers Union 1944
17
The 1950s
25
Racial Integration in Education Through Resort to
45
The Future Lies with Our Youth 1954
67
Segregation and Desegregation 1954
78
Interpretation of Supreme Court Decisions and
89
The South on the Run 1957
100
Group Action in the Pursuit of Justice 1969
211
The 1970s
223
Building a Tradition of Public Service 1976
232
The Role of
242
The Cardinal Principle
250
The 1980s
263
Violations of the Constitution Require Corrective
269
Charles Hamilton Houston 1987
279

Judicial Method in Due Process 1956
123
The Negro GI in Korea 1951
134
Transition from Lawyer to Jurist
145
No Peace at Any Cost 1961
153
The Courts 1964
160
The Impact of the Constitution and Panel Discussion 1964
170
Civil Rights in the United States 1966
189
Remembering Lyndon B Johnson and the Civil Rights
196
A Colorblind Society Remains an Aspiration 1987
286
New Challenges Facing the Civil Rights Community 1989
296
Looking Back 1992
303
We Must Dissent 1992
311
Bibliography
321
Index
327
Acknowledgments
335
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

J. Clay Smith, Jr. (1942-2018) was Professor of Law at Howard University and author of Emancipation: The Making of the Black Lawyer, 1844-1944, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

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