So we are going to highlight every friday a different person from black history that you might not know as much about um. So i feel like we know a lot about martin luther king jr. We know a lot about rosa parks, people like that, but i think this month we want to focus on some biographies. We have at the library that are about some other people. So this week we are going to start out with the first black supreme court justice and his name is thurgood marshall. This book is called thurgood and it is by jonah, winter and brian collier. Normally you don’t look at a sandbox full of toddlers and say little jimmy over. There is going to become a world famous lawyer, but there was this little boy named thoroughgood, who was by all accounts a born lawyer, the first evidence at age six. He convinced his parents to legally change his name to thurgood, while this third good character would grow up to change more than just his name. He would change the law of the land. Here are the facts of his case: it’s 1922 baltimore a 15 year old black kid is trying to get on a trolley with an armload of hat boxes. He has to deliver. He accidentally bumps into a white woman. A white man calls him a hateful word and shoves him off the trolley here’s the picture, the kid whose dad had taught him never to take that kind of abuse, punches the man and gets arrested, even though he’s just 15 and was acting in self defense.
His white boss comes to the jail and manages to get him released. The kid’s name, thurgood marshall, for thurgood such things are just a fact of life fact. As a black kid growing up in america, during the 1920s, thurgood was forced to attend a blacks. Only school called colored high school, unlike baltimore’s all white schools, it had no library gym or cafeteria, and it was so overcrowded that half the students had to go in the morning and half had to go in the afternoon fact from a classroom window. Thurgood could hear the sounds of the white cops, speeding, confessions out of black suspects in the police station across the street. This was the world. He was born into a world where black people had few legal rights. Fact their good’s dad worked at jobs where he had to serve and bow to white people, including a country club that didn’t allow black people. As members thurgood saw how these jobs hurt his father, he saw the rage that boiled up inside him, but he also learned some things from his dad. He learned about courtrooms and lawyers. His father used to take him to trials where they would sit and watch watch. Lawyers argue about justice and injustice, guilt and innocence, truth and falsehood back at home over dinner. His dad would engage him in arguments about these trials about the news about anything. He would raise his voice and demand that thurgood back up his points with evidence and thurgood would put it right back to him word for word, point for point with glee, with fire that’s a whole page picture, as it turned out this sloppy kid with untucked shirts And ink stained pockets had a knack for arguing.
He became captain of his high school debate team, unparalleled in his debating and talking skills. He gave epic classroom presentations so long that his teachers would have to cut him off. No one could out talk their good, especially when he went to college at lincoln university in pennsylvania, where right away, he made his mark as the loudest talker funniest, joke teller and best arguer of them all. As the star of his college debate team. He earned the nickname, the wrathful marshall fact. One day, thurgood was in a theater where the ushers told him and his friends they had to move to the colored section. Instead, they tore down curtains and knocked over a bunch of stuff fleeing before the cops arrived in. A single moment thurgood saw that it was possible to fight the injustice he’d experienced his whole life. Breaking the law was one way practicing. Civil disobedience changing the law was another, and this way interested thurgood far more fact by his senior year. This born lawyer knew what he wanted to become, but but the law school he hoped to attend, the university of maryland did not accept black students. The law said separate, but equal schools for blacks and whites were perfectly legal, so thurgood went to the historically black school. That would accept him, howard university, in washington dc. He would hone himself into a one man weapon to destroy the laws that hurt black people. He became the star people of the great civil rights law lawyer, charles houston, who trained his students to challenge legalized racial segregation in forced separation.
Houston took thurgood on a road trip to the deep south to study the segregated schools for black and white kids fact. Unlike the white kids schools, the black kids, schools had dirt floors and no restrooms the students were malnourished and sad separate, but equal you’re right well. Can you guess what thurgood’s first major legal battle was once he graduated and became a lawyer, it was against a very law school that would not accept him because of his skin color. A lawyer’s job is to convince a judge or a jury of what is just and unjust, true or untrue. It is to present facts and evidence. Thurgood presented the facts. The university of maryland had no legal right to bar his black client from its law school. As a citizen of the united states, he was entitled to equal treatment because of the equal protection clause in the 14th amendment to the u.s constitution. The verdict, the law school, would have to accept black students, which is a victory, because this is just a maryland court case. Its ruling didn’t apply to the whole country. Still, it sure did impress the national association for the advancement of colored people in 1936. It hired him as a full time lawyer at its headquarters in new york within two years. Thurgood was the naacp’s top lawyer. The naacp is the national association for the advancement of colored people. Fact in the south, jim crow laws required black people to drink from colored drinking fountains and to sit in colored waiting rooms.
They were not allowed to vote. They were not allowed to eat in restaurants, owned by whites, stay in hotels, owned by whites or sit where they wanted to on buses. This was the law and thurgood took it on fact. On most trips, through a good made to the south to fight a legal battle, there were threats to his life every night he had to eat and sleep in the house of a local black person. Sometimes there were armed guards posted outside. Why was he scared darn right? He was scared once in tennessee, thurgood was driving with some other lawyers down a country road when the police pulled them over. They rested their good pushed him into their car and took off the police, turned down a dirt road that led into the woods when they got to a lake. Thurgood saw a group of white men just standing there waiting. He knew they were planning to kill him. Thankfully, the lawyers had followed the police, spotted them and turned around back at the station. They falsely charged their good with drunk driving. He was released by the judge then driven out of town by his friends in the dead of night. This was the world that thurgood had to enter just to do his job fact in the deep south. Most whites sitting in courtrooms had never even seen a black lawyer and there he was in his fancy suit, trying to change their laws. It filled them with hatred.
Thurgood’S response was not anger or none that he let them see now. Thurgood kept his cool and, in the midst of their hatred, thurgood changed their laws case by case trial by trial winning 29 cases before the supreme court cases that gained important rights for african americans cases that defined the law of the land standing before those nine robed Justices nine white men he took on injustice again and again he fought for the equal protection of all citizens promised by the u.s constitution. With every battle thurgood took a sledgehammer to racial inequality in america. With every battle he built his reputation as mr civil rights. A nickname he earned by demolishing one racist law after the next, but his biggest battle was yet to come and he had spent his entire life preparing for it injustice. A man named lonnie smith tries to vote in a texas primary election and is turned away because he is black. Justice. Thurgood argues that the constitution protects the right to vote for all citizens and not just white people. The supreme court agrees. The law now protects the rights of black people to vote in primary elections. Thanks to thurgood injustice. A woman named irene morgan refuses to give her seat to a white person on a bus going from virginia to maryland. She is dragged off the bus and arrested justice. Thurgood argues that irene morgan’s rights, as a citizen as protected by the constitution, have been denied the supreme court agrees.
It is now illegal to deny black people the right to sit where they please, in on a bus between states thanks to thurgood injustice. A couple named ethel and j.d shelley try to purchase a home for their family in a white neighborhood in saint louis. They are denied because they are black justice. Thurgood argues that the shelley’s rights as american citizens have been violated. The supreme court agrees. It is now illegal for a white person to refuse to sell a house to a black person thanks to thurgood marshall. Here are the three injustices: another injustice, a man named oliver brown attempts to enroll his children in an all white school in kansas, and they are rejected. If thurgood can prove in the supreme court that the brown children have a constitutional right to attend this school. He will have proven that all black children in america have the right to attend any public school. When thurgood stood up to present his argument, he spoke in a booming voice that filled the room. This case this moment was why he had been put on this earth. It was the most important battle he had ever fought. If he won it would make all the difference for millions of american school children for the soul of the nation. For the ideal of racial justice in america, he came on like a locomotive. Was he angry? After a lifetime of being treated like a second class citizen because of the color of his skin after enduring all that hatred, all the hurtful laws intended to keep black people powerless darn right, he was angry, but if he wanted to win this case, he had to Prove his argument word by word point by point with evidence: thurgood said that segregation hurt the development of the personalities of black children, it caused humiliation and actual injury.
He brought in psychologists to testify. He presented photos of all white schools and of all black schools. He argued that as long as there are separate schools, there can be no equality. He said equal means getting the same thing at the same time and in the same place. Listening to his powerful argument, seeing the injustice he described, every single one of those nine white supreme court justices agreed thurgood had won the case of brown vs. The board of education was decided, the age of legally separating black and white school children was over such but thurgood’s career was far from over. He would go on to integrate more than just the schools by becoming the first black supreme court justice in history, justice, and that is the end of thurgood by jonah winter and brian collier. So that is it for this week’s story. But next friday we will be focusing on a woman in black history.