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Thurgood Marshall and his impact on the American civil rights movement - Term Paper Example

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Taunya Banks described Thurgood Marshall as to have represented the civil rights protest movement but “reluctantly.” Marshall recognized the limitations of using the law but he felt comfortable using litigation as a tool for social change rather than confining protesting on the streets…
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Thurgood Marshall and his impact on the American civil rights movement
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Download file to see previous pages He is recognized for making contributions to race and gender equality as well as the rights of an accused. He was born on 2 July 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland and attended the Samuel Coleridge Taylor Elementary School and Booker T. Washington Junior High. Thurgood Marshall’s parents were mulattoes who could trade their ancestry to a nineteenth-century Congo slave who have caused much trouble for his master that he was set free. The former slave was Thurgood’s Marshall’s great grandfather. Thurgood Marshall’s father was a waiter and amateur writer while his mother was a schoolteacher. During his elementary years, Thurgood Marshall “was best remembered” to be on the front row so teachers could see him closely. He was also described as to have “enjoyed teaching the girls while he was in school”.
According to Thurgood Marshall, himself, he was born Throughgood Marshall but after growing tired of spelling his long first name, he shorted his name to Thurgood when he was in second grade. Thurgood Marshall had revealed that although they had lived on a respectable street but behind them were “back alleys where the roughnecks and the tough kids hung out.” Further, Thurgood Marshall had revealed that every dinnertime, his mother had to go to the front door to call her brother but had to use the backdoor to call him for dinner. 12 In 1921 to 1925, Marshall attended the Colored High and Training School that became the Frederick Douglass High School in 1923.13 The Colored High and Training School was known as an all-black school with no school library, no cafeteria, and no gym when Thurgood Marshall was enrolled.14 The school was “so overcrowded that half-day sessions were held to accommodate all students”. 15 Students in the school were divided based on performance and Marshall had belonged to the best students of the school.16 Nevertheless, Marshall was known as a prankster and his “antics” usually sent him to punishment.17 The main form of punishment then was to put the punished in the school basement to memorize the US Constitution.18 From the experience, Marshall recounted later, that came to know the US Constitution by heart.19 Marshall was a figure on the high school campus because of his participation and success in his school’s debate team.20 Marshall married Vivian Burey in 1923.21 In 1924, he graduated from high school at the top three of his class after maintaining a grade of B average. 22 In 1930, Marshall graduated cum laude from the Lincoln University in Lincoln, Pennsylvania.23 Lincoln University was known as the “Black Princeton” because it was founded and ran “by the same Presbyterians who ran Princeton University”. 24 In Lincoln University, despite graduating at the top of his class, many thought he never studied.25 One friend even described him as someone who was the least likely to succeed.26 In Lincoln University, Thurgood Marshall was known as a great pinochle player, fan of cowboy movies, and connoisseur of comic books. 27 On his second year in the university, Marshall joined the Alpha Phi Alpha, a fraternity described as “elite” and composed of “mostly light-skinned boys”.28 Thurgood Marshall was known to have “enjoyed” hazing the younger students and “did so in such an aggressive manner that he got kicked out school, along with 25 other sophomores”.29 However, Marshall and the rest of his companions were readmitted after they wrote and sign a confession of admission to the University.30 Marshall initially intended to attend the University of Maryland Law School but found out that only two black students had graduated from the law school in Maryland. 31 Further, he ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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