Importance of Education and Racial Equality in America

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Updated: Aug 30, 2023
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At a very young age, Thurgood Marshall’s parents emphasized the importance of education and always encouraged him to think and learn. Alongside his school making him memorize parts of the U.S. Constitution at an early age, this set him up to become the ambitious Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and its first African-American justice (“Thurgood Marshall Biography”). In this text, I will cover what Thurgood Marshall accomplished in his life and how what he did was significant for racial equality in America.

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Marshall graduated high school in 1926 and in 1930, he applied to the University of Maryland Law School but was denied by the school because of his race (Ploscariu, Iemima). This led him to study law at a historically black post-secondary institution. After he finished law school, he began working for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP. While working for this association, he took a case where he defended Donald Murray, a student who was also denied admission by the University of Maryland Law because of his race. Marshall ended up winning this case, which paved the way for more accomplishments in helping to desegregate America.

He went on to win more cases such as Chambers v. Florida, in which four black men were pressured into confessing to murder by the police, and Smith v. Allwright, in which he put a stop to the custom of white-only participants in the primary elections of certain southern states. Perhaps his most famous victory was the case of Brown v. Board of Education though. Marshall argued that public education could not be separate but equal, because in itself, it was not equal. By the end of this case, the Supreme Court agreed with Marshall and ruled that no school in the United States could segregate public education and that segregated schools violated the 14th amendment, therefore making it unconstitutional (Ploscariu, Iemima).

Marshall served the Supreme Court as a Justice for 24 years and was the first African-American to do so. He often claimed that he wanted to keep serving until he was about 110 years old, but was forced to retire in 1991 due to illness. Sadly, he passed away in 1993 at the age of 84. Marshall will be remembered as a hero for his contributions to the Civil Rights Movement and for helping to desegregate America, ensuring equal rights for everyone, regardless of their skin color. Thurgood Marshall played a pivotal role in addressing racial inequality during his time.

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Importance Of Education And Racial Equality in America. (2020, Nov 03). Retrieved from