Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP

About This Episode


Civil rights attorney Thurgood Marshall's triumph in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision to desegregate America's public schools completed the final leg of a journey of over 20 years laying the groundwork to end legal segregation. He won more Supreme Court cases than any lawyer in American history, making the work of civil rights pioneers like the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks possible.

Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP incorporates archival film and interviews to explore Marshall's life in the years leading up to the landmark ruling. This includes his upbringing in Baltimore, education at Howard University Law School ("the West Point of the civil rights movement"), status as a rising star within the NAACP, skill as an orator and storyteller, and his relationship with his mentor Charles H. Houston. High-profile segregation cases involving voting, transportation, housing, labor and the military are examined.

This compelling biography unfolds through interviews with Justice Elena Kagan, Justice John Paul Stevens, lawyer and civil-rights activist Vernon Jordan, Marshall biographers Rawn James, Juan Williams and Larry S. Gibson, and several law professors.