Thurgood Marshall Became the First
African-American Supreme Court Justice
October 2, 1967
you ever been treated unfairly because of your age, the color of
your skin, or where you live? Thurgood Marshall worked all
of his life to make sure all people were treated fairly,
especially under the law.
Thurgood Marshall had a noteworthy first name, but it fit him
well because he was a noteworthy person. On October 2,
1967, he became the first African-American Supreme Court
justice. Of course, Marshall had accomplished plenty of
other things before then.
Is there something that bothers you so much that you could spend
your whole life working to change it? Even before he became a
Supreme Court justice, Thurgood Marshall worked to end racial
discrimination. For many years, he was on the staff of the NAACP
(National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). In
1954, Marshall argued before the Supreme Court that segregating
school children based on their race was against the
Constitution. The Supreme Court agreed with him.
Thurgood Marshall spent nearly twenty-five years on the Court,
and retired in 1991. When he died on January 24, 1993,
many people felt the nation had lost a valuable leader and a
pillar of justice.