Despite Death Threats, He Pressed On And Changed The World

black and white photo of thurgood marshall
January 11, 2022

Joseph Spell was yet another Black man being falsely accused of sexually assaulting a white woman. But Thurgood Marshall, then still a young lawyer, was determined to prove Spell’s innocence – regardless of the death threats he was facing

Marshall REALLY rubbed white folks the wrong way! They hated that he spoke his mind and had the facts to back up his cocky disposition.

Marshall won the 1941 Spell case, but wasn’t done; he fought for justice as an NAACP lawyer for years. His work: fighting for voting and employment rights, criminal justice, and housing discrimination cases that became the blueprint for the 1964 Civil Rights Bill and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

But that’s not all.

Marshall’s commitment to liberation earned him a seat on the Supreme Court, where he fought fiercely for over two decades, winning 29 of the 32 cases he argued before the court.

In the historic Roe v. Wade case, he fought for women’s abortion rights. And he led the Brown v. Board of Education case, ingeniously undermining years of segregated education. 

Marshall combined legislation and political activism, and didn’t care if his peers were riding with him or not – he pressed on.

Thurgood Marshall’s work has undeniably impacted social justice. We should all be inspired by his legacy – by deciding what our contribution to Black liberation is and pursuing it full throttle. We’re all we got!

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