Thurgood Marshall a True Leader

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What are qualities of a true leader? Some might say bravery, grit, or even courage. When it comes down to it, a true leader is one who stands up for what they believe in, irregardless of what others might think. One of the most influential and important leaders ever was Thurgood Marshall, a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Throughout his life, Marshall had exhibited such traits, and had been a major cause of the end of the Jim Crow era which was bad because it limited the freedom of select minorities.

Thurgood first got into law when the principal of his high school forced Marshall to read the US Constitution for an unruly prank he had pulled. Although meant to be a punishment, he actually enjoyed reading about it, and took to memorizing it. Through reading the Constitution, Marshall came to realize that people of color were not getting the benefit of their constitutional rights. Even from an early age, Thurgood showed an avidity for the legal system and wanted to change the injustices that minorities like himself faced.

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Graduating top of his class from Howard University, Marshall became friends with a man named Charles Houston who had a job as the director of the NAACP. Thurgood found that the NAACP was a potential answer to the problems he had noticed, and so in 1938, he took charge of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. There, he visited risky places located Southwardly to check out crimes and offenses committed against African-Americans including voting fraudulence and lynching. Marshall became one of the most influential members of the NAACP, achieving feats such as winning a case dealing with forced confession.

Around the same time, Marshall found the ruling in the case Plessy v Ferguson to be wrong and defective. He reasoned that the separation of races could never be equal or fair. He argued that in order for anybody to achieve success, they would require a solid education. During this time period, many schools designed for colored people were far from equal to schools for whites. At one point on a trip, Marshall watched a black child trying to eat an orange by biting into it with the peel still attached. The boy was so uneducated that he didn’t recognize the orange and had no idea how to actually consume one. This surprised Marshall so much that he worked even harder to think up a way to end discrimination.

Among the many contributions Thurgood made towards the advancement of civil rights, the most notable is his victory in the case Brown v. Board of Education. In said case, Marshall’s victory resulted in the desegregation of schools and the Supreme Court declaring segregated public schools unconstitutional. He served as the chief attorney for the plaintiffs, and helped to negate the separate but equal doctrine. Despite the fact that the case Brown v. Board of Education did not instantly integrate schools, it set an example and showed that other laws could potentially be invalidated that supported the segregation of other similar public spaces. Not only this, but it also established Thurgood Marshall as a fervent supporter of all human rights, ultimately securing him a place in the U.S. Court of Appeals.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy noticed Marshall’s strong leadership abilities and chose him to be a federal judge in New York City. The next few years were some of Marshall’s most successful, and in the year of 1965, President Lyndon Johnson appointed him as the Solicitor General for the U.S. After only two years of serving on said position, Thurgood made history. President Johnson elected him to be the first and foremost African-American to serve as an Associate Judge in the Supreme Court.

As a justice in the Supreme Court, Marshall contributed to the outcomes of many important cases. In the case Furman v. Georgia, he argued that the death penalty was inhumane and unconstitutional. The case ruled the penalty as inappropriate with a final decision of 5-4, Thurgood being one of the main deciding factors in such case. Not only this, but he made major decisions regarding securities, labor, and tax law. He held a liberal standpoint during most of his term, and had strong views pertaining to affirmative action, or bias towards select individuals who were previously discriminated against.

Soon after, Justice Marshall retired from his job. On January 24th, tragedy struck and Thurgood Marshall died from a heart problem. He died in Bethesda, Maryland. Although he had died, his contributions to the advancement of civil rights was undeniable. Marshall was nicknamed “Mr. Civil Rights,” and was laid to rest in the Supreme Court within a coffin that was covered in a flag. Only one other judge before him had been granted such a privilege. Among the most memorable heroes, Thurgood Marshall remains one of the most influential. He stood up for inequality when others didn’t. Time may pass and history may be made every day, but nevertheless. Marshall will always be remembered as a true leader.

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Thurgood Marshall A True Leader. (2021, Jul 03). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/thurgood-marshall-a-true-leader/

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