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Thurgood Marshall: Activist, judge and the story for racial justice in America


  • The first African American to sit on the highest court is the subject of a film that retells his relentless and epochal quest to achieve racial justice in America.
  • Related: Death by Cop: Black and White Issues

Tom McCarthy, The Guardian   Sunday 8 October 2017 | By the time the US supreme court banned the death penalty in cases of adult rape, in 1977, Thurgood Marshall had been a justice on the court for 10 years. He wrote a brief concurrence in the case, Coker v Georgia, citing his opposition to the death penalty, which then as now disproportionately targeted African American men.

Marshall’s experience with capital rape cases, and specifically with cases of black men accused of raping white women, was uniquely deep. For while the later decades of his career found Marshall enrobed as the country’s first African American supreme court justice, in his early years he had virtually lived from a suitcase, crossing the country as an activist lawyer known for defending innocent black men from a system of white justice that craved their freedom and their blood. Tom McCarthy joined the Guardian US in 2012. He was previously the news writer on ABC News's Nightline. He has worked at the Daily Star (Beirut) and the Omaha World-Herald.

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Death by Cop: Black and White Issues, Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report / Truthdig 

  • U.S. police kill more Black women every year than the total of all civilians killed annually by their counterparts in western Europe’s largest countries. These sisters’ male relatives are slaughtered on an epic scale—with the connivance and consent of most of the Congressional Black Caucus, 80 percent of whose members voted to continue the militarization of local police when the issue came up for a vote on the full House floor in June of 2014.
  • Related: After Minneapolis police shooting of Justine Damond, it's time to decide who runs this town.

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