Marshall's Legacy: A Lawyer Who Changed America

As a Supreme Court Justice and a civil rights advocate who battled racism daily, Thurgood Marshall took the law personally

Thurgood Marshall was the only member of the Supreme Court who knew how it felt to be called a nigger. In the 1940s and '50s when he roamed the courtrooms of the South as chief counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Marshall suffered all the indignities of segregation. He once told a judge in North Carolina he had eaten the same meal in the same restaurant where the judge had dined the night before -- with one difference. "You had yours in the dining room," said Marshall. "I had mine in the kitchen."

Very little about the law was abstract...

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