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BIO.com On This Day

The first African American is appointed to the Supreme Court in 1967 ~~ In memory of


U.S. circuit judges Robert Katzmann, Damon Kei...
U.S. circuit judges Robert Katzmann, Damon Keith, and Sonia Sotomayor at a 2004 exhibit on the Fourteenth Amendment, Thurgood Marshall, and Brown v. Board of Education. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On this day in 1967, Thurgood Marshall becomes the first African American to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice. He would remain on the Supreme Court for 24 years before retiring for health reasons, leaving a legacy of upholding the rights of the individual as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution… read more »

Born on July 2, 1908, in Baltimore, Maryland, Thurgood Marshall studied law at Howard University. As counsel to the NAACP, he utilized the judiciary to champion equality for African Americans.

In 1954, he won the Brown v. Board of Education case, in which the Supreme Court ended racial segregation in public schools.

Marshall was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1967, and served for 24 years.

He died in Maryland on January 24, 1993.

Quotes

“Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men’s minds.”

– Thurgood Marshall
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“In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”

– Thurgood Marshall
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“Equal means getting the same thing, at the same time and in the same place.”

– Thurgood Marshall
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“None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody—a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns—bent down and helped us pick up our boots.”

– Thurgood Marshall
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“The measure of a country’s greatness is its ability to retain compassion in times of crisis.”

– Thurgood Marshall
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Early Life

Thurgood Marshall was born on July 2, 1908, in Baltimore, Maryland. His father, William Marshall, the grandson of a slave, worked as a steward at an exclusive club. His mother, Norma, was a kindergarten teacher. One of William Marshall’s favorite pastimes was to listen to cases at the local courthouse before returning home to rehash the lawyers’ arguments with his sons. Thurgood Marshall later recalled, “Now you want to know how I got involved in law? I don’t know. The nearest I can get is that my dad, my brother, and I had the most violent arguments you ever heard about anything. I guess we argued five out of seven nights at the dinner table.”

Marshall attended Baltimore’s Colored High and Training School (later renamed Frederick Douglass High School), where he was an above-average student and put his finely honed skills of argument to use as a star member of the debate team. The teenaged Marshall was also something of a mischievous troublemaker. His greatest high school accomplishment, memorizing the entire United States Constitution, was actually a teacher’s punishment for misbehaving in class.

After graduating from high school in 1926, Marshall attended Lincoln University, a historically black college in Pennsylvania. There, he joined a remarkably distinguished student body that included Kwame Nkrumah, the future president of Ghana; Langston Hughes, the great poet; and Cab Calloway, the famous jazz singer.

After graduating from Lincoln with honors in 1930, Marshall applied to the University of Maryland Law School. Despite being overqualified academically, Marshall was rejected because of his race. This firsthand experience with discrimination in education made a lasting impression on Marshall and helped determine the future course of his career. Instead of Maryland, Marshall attended law school in Washington, D.C. at Howard University, another historically black school. The dean of Howard Law School at the time was the pioneering civil rights lawyer Charles Houston. Marshall quickly fell under the tutelage of Houston, a notorious disciplinarian and extraordinarily demanding professor. Marshall recalled of Houston, “He would not be satisfied until he went to a dance on the campus and found all of his students sitting around the wall reading law books instead of partying.” Marshall graduated magna cum laude from Howard in 1933.

Murray v. Pearson

After graduating from law school, Marshall briefly attempted to establish his own practice in Baltimore, but without experience he failed to land any significant cases.

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African Americans & Shelley v. Kraemer


Image resultShelley v. Kraemer was a landmark Supreme Court case which stated that courts could not enforce racial covenants on real estate properties.
In 1945, an African-American family (the Shelley family) purchased a home in St. Louis, Missouri. During the time of purchase, the Shelley family was unaware that a restrictive covenant had been placed on the property since 1911. This covenant barred African Americans and Mongolians from owning the property. Louis Kraemer, an individual who lived ten blocks from the purchased piece of real estate, sued the Shelley family for purchasing the property.
The Supreme Court of Missouri stated that the covenant was enforceable against the Shelly family because the covenant was a private agreement between the original owners and was enforceable on any party who purchased the land in the future.
Shelley v. Kraemer Trial:
When the Shelley v. Kraemer trial was appealed, the court considered two primary questions: are racially-based restrictive covenants legal in regards to the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and can they be enforced by the court of law?
The United States Supreme Court in Shelley v. Kraemer ruled that racially-based restrictive covenants are invalid under the Fourteenth Amendment. The court stated that private parties may voluntarily abide by the terms of the covenant, but they may not seek enforcement of such a covenant, because the courts would constitute state action. Since a state action would by nature be discriminatory, the enforcement of a racially-based covenant in a state court would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The Case Profile of Shelley v. Kraemer:
The following is a case profile of the legal trial eponymously titled ‘Shelley v. Kraemer’:
Date of the Trial: Shelley v. Kraemer was argued on January 15, 1948
Legal Classification: Administrative Law; this legal field associated with events and circumstances in which the Federal Government of the United States engages its citizens, including the administration of government programs, the creation of agencies, and the establishment of a legal, regulatory federal standard
United States Reports Case Number: 334 U.S.
Date of the Delivery of the Verdict: Shelley v. Kraemer was decided on May 3, 1948
Legal Venue of Shelley v. Kraemer: The United States Supreme Court
Judicial Officer Responsible for Ruling: Chief Justice Fred Vinson
Involved Parties: The following are the parties named with regard to their involvement in the Shelley v. Kraemer case:
Plaintiff: Shelley Family, Defendant: The state of Missouri and property owner Louis Kraemer
Verdict Delivered: The United States Supreme Court in Shelley v. Kraemer ruled in favor of the plaintiff b stating that the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits a state from enforcing restricting covenants on the basis of race or color.
Associated Legislation with regard to Shelley v. Kraemer: The following statutory regulations were employed with regard to the Shelley v. Kraemer trial:
The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

On This Day … Alex Haley wins a Pulitzer Prize for Roots


Born on August 11, 1921, in Ithaca, New York, Alex Haley was an American writer whose works, including Roots and The Autobiography of Malcolm X, centered on the struggles of African Americans. He died in Seattle, Washington, on February 10, 1992.

 Quotes

“Either you deal with what is the reality, or you can be sure that the reality is going to deal with you.” – Alex Haley

“The money I have made and will be making means nothing to me compared to the fact that about half of the black people I meet—ranging from the most sophisticated to the least sophisticated—say to me, ‘I’m proud of you.’ I feel strongly about always earning that and never letting black people down.” – Alex Haley

“In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.”  – Alex Haley

 Early Life

Alex Haley was born Alexander Murray Palmer Haley on August 11, 1921, in Ithaca, New York. At the time of his birth, Haley’s father, Simon Haley, a World War I veteran, was a graduate student in agriculture at Cornell University, and his mother, Bertha Palmer Haley, was a teacher.

For the first five years of his life, Haley lived with his mother and grandparents in Henning, Tennessee, while his father finished his studies. When Simon Haley completed his degree, he joined the family in Tennessee and taught as a professor of agriculture at various southern universities. Alex Haley was always remarkably proud of his father, whom he said had overcome the immense obstacles of racism to achieve high levels of success and provide better opportunities for his children.

An exceptionally bright child and gifted student, Haley graduated from high school at the age of 15 and enrolled at Alcorn A&M College (Alcorn State University) in Mississippi, where he says he “was easily the most undistinguished freshman.” After one year at Alcorn, he transferred to Elizabeth City State Teachers College in North Carolina.

In 1939, at the age of 17, Haley quit school to enlist in the Coast Guard. Although he enlisted as a seaman, he quickly became a third class petty officer in the inglorious rate of mess attendant. To relieve his boredom while on ship, Haley bought a portable typewriter and typed out love letters for his less articulate friends. He also wrote short stories and articles and sent them to magazines and publishers back in the United States. Although he received mostly rejection letters in return, a handful of his stories were published, encouraging Haley to keep writing.

At the conclusion of World War II, the Coast Guard permitted Haley to transfer into the field of journalism, and by 1949 he had achieved the rank of first class petty officer in the rate of journalist. Haley was soon promoted to chief journalist of the Coast Guard, a rank he held until his retirement in 1959, after 20 years of service. A highly decorated veteran, Haley has received the American Defense Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal and an honorary degree from the Coast Guard Academy. A Coast Guard Cutter was also named in Haley’s honor: the USCGC Alex Haley.

for the complete article … Go to … www.biography.com/people

Thurgood Marshall sworn in Oct 2, 1967


Image result for thurgood marshall

Chief Justice Earl Warren swears in Thurgood Marshall, the first black justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. As chief counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in the 1940s and ’50s, Marshall was the architect and executor of the legal strategy that ended the era of official racial segregation.

The great-grandson of a slave, Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1908. After being rejected from the University of Maryland Law School on account of his race, he was accepted at all-black Howard University in Washington, D.C. At Howard, he studied under the tutelage of civil liberties lawyer Charles H. Houston and in 1933 graduated first in his class. In 1936, he joined the legal division of the NAACP, of which Houston was director, and two years later succeeded his mentor in the organization’s top legal post.

As the NAACP’s chief counsel from 1938 to 1961, he argued more than a dozen cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, successfully challenging racial segregation, most notably in public education. He won nearly all of these cases, including a groundbreaking victory in 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, in which the Supreme Court ruled that segregation violated the equal rights clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and was thus illegal. The decision served as a great impetus for the civil rights movement and ultimately led to the abolishment of segregation in all public facilities and accommodations.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed Marshall to the U.S. Court of Appeals, but his nomination was opposed by many Southern senators, and he was not confirmed until the following year. In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson appointed Marshall to be solicitor general of the United States. In this position, he again successfully argued cases before the Supreme Court, this time on behalf of the U.S. government.

On June 13, 1967, Johnson nominated Marshall to fill the seat of retiring Supreme Court Justice Tom Clark. Of his decision to appoint Marshall, Johnson said it was “the right thing to do, the right time to do it, the right man, and the right place.” After a heated debate, the Senate confirmed Marshall’s nomination by a vote of 69 to 11 on August 30. Marshall was officially sworn in to the nation’s highest court at the opening ceremony of the Supreme Court term on October 2.

During his 24 years on the high court, Associate Justice Marshall consistently challenged discrimination based on race or sex, opposed the death penalty, and vehemently defended affirmative action. He supported the rights of criminal defendants and defended the right to privacy. As appointments by a largely Republican White House changed the ideology of the Supreme Court, Marshall found his liberal views increasingly in the minority. He retired in 1991 because of declining health and died in 1993.

resource: history.com

Josephine Baker … addressed the crowd at the National Mall


Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker, the world-renowned singer and actress, had long since adopted France as her homeland and had even joined the French Resistance. Still, she was an active supporter of the American civil rights movement and was the only woman to address the crowd at the National Mall. An excerpt of her remarks is below.

“You know, friends, that I do not lie to you when I tell you I have walked into the palaces of kings and queens and into the houses of presidents. And much more. But I could not walk into a hotel in America and get a cup of coffee, and that made me mad. And when I get mad, you know that I open my big mouth. And then look out, ’cause when Josephine opens her mouth, they hear it all over the world.”

 

Quotes:
The things we truly love stay with us always, locked in our hearts as long as life remains.
I wasn’t really naked. I simply didn’t have any clothes on.
I believe in prayer. It’s the best way we have to draw strength from heaven.