Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of quotes and thoughts by Thurgood Marshall on humanity, tribute, history, quality, hands, justice, division, isolation, fellow-beings, daredevil and goals.

28 Notable Quotes By Thurgood Marshall On Injustice, Democracy, Equality And More

Quick Facts

Famous As: Former Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court

Born On: July 2, 1908

Died On: January 24, 1993

Born In: Baltimore

Died At Age: 84

Thurgood Marshall was a distinguished American lawyer who served as the Associate Judge of the Supreme Court Of the United States. He was also the first Afro-American justice besides being the court’s 96th justice. Marshall also triumphantly argued many cases before the Supreme Court prior to his judicial service. In 1933, he graduated from Howard University School Of Law and started private legal practice in Baltimore. He later served as the executive director of ‘NAACP Legal Defense And Educational Fund’ which was also founded by him. Marshall was also appointed to the ‘United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’ by President John F.Kennedy. Here is a collection of some notable thoughts, opinions and views by Thurgood Marshall which have been curated from his writings, cases, speeches, work and life. Go through the quotes and sayings by Thurgood Marshall that will give you a glimpse of his enlightened mind.
Listed In:

In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.

Thurgood Marshall

Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.

Thurgood Marshall

Each of you, as an individual, must pick your own goals. Listen to others, but do not become a blind follower.

Thurgood Marshall

If the First Amendment means anything, it means that a state has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his house, what books he may read or what films he may watch.

Thurgood Marshall

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

A child born to a Black mother in a state like Mississippi... has exactly the same rights as a white baby born to the wealthiest person in the United States. It's not true, but I challenge anyone to say it is not a goal worth working for.

Thurgood Marshall

I have a lifetime appointment and I intend to serve it. I expect to die at 110, shot by a jealous husband.

Thurgood Marshall

Ending racial discrimination in jury selection can be accomplished only by eliminating peremptory challenges entirely.

Thurgood Marshall

What is the quality of your intent?

Thurgood Marshall

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

Thurgood Marshall

We deal here with the right of all of our children, whatever their race, to an equal start in life and to an equal opportunity to reach their full potential as citizens. Those children who have been denied that right in the past deserve better than to see fences thrown up to deny them that right in the future.

Thurgood Marshall

I never worked hard until I got to the Howard Law School and met Charlie Houston... I saw this man's dedication, his vision, his willingness to sacrifice, and I told myself, 'You either shape up or ship out.' When you are being challenged by a great human being, you know that you can't ship out.

Thurgood Marshall

We could get more action in the South because the Negroes had a feeling that they were being oppressed. But you take New York, for example: they'd give Negroes little five-cent jobs here and there - and they thought they had something. And the same in Chicago and any of the metropolitan areas.

Thurgood Marshall

Deciding not to decide is, of course, among the most important things done by the Supreme Court. It takes a lot of doing, but it can be done.

Thurgood Marshall

Mere access to the courthouse doors does not by itself assure a proper functioning of the adversary process.

Thurgood Marshall

This is a great country, but fortunately for you, it is not perfect. There is much to be done to bring about complete equality. Remove hunger. Bring reality closer to theory and democratic principles.

Thurgood Marshall

It is important that the strongest pressures against the continuation of segregation, North or South, be continually and constantly manifested. Probably, as much as anything else, this is the key in the elimination of discrimination in the United States.

Thurgood Marshall

Today's Constitution is a realistic document of freedom only because of several corrective amendments. Those amendments speak to a sense of decency and fairness that I and other Blacks cherish.

Thurgood Marshall

Sometimes history takes things into its own hands.

Thurgood Marshall

Surely the fact that a uniformed police officer is wearing his hair below his collar will make him no less identifiable as a policeman.

Thurgood Marshall

'Black' is an adjective, in my book, and the way I use it, sometimes I'll say 'black people.' But if I'm talking about a person, I'm going to say 'a Negro,' because I was taught to say that, and I don't see any reason to change it. I don't think that gives pride or anything else. I don't think you get pride by calling yourself this or that.

Thurgood Marshall

My father had a flat rule. He believed that every man's house was his castle. He had a flat rule: no man could come in his house without his permission.

Thurgood Marshall

When you hear a lot of stories about Africa, and you get to a place like Kenya and other countries like that, where they think the same way we do, I was happy to find that the Schedule of Rights that I drew for the Kenyan Government was working very well.

Thurgood Marshall

It was taken for granted that we had to make something of ourselves. Not much was said about it; it was just in the atmosphere of the home.

Thurgood Marshall

As soon as I reach any town, I talk to the shoe-shine boys or the barbers or the people in the restaurants, because it's Mr. Joe Doakes who is very close to reality.

Thurgood Marshall

History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.

Thurgood Marshall

Racism separates, but it never liberates. Hatred generates fear, and fear once given a foothold; binds, consumes and imprisons. Nothing is gained from prejudice. No one benefits from racism.

Thurgood Marshall

Nothing can be more notorious than the calumnies and invectives with which the wisest measures and most virtuous characters of The United States have been pursued and traduced [By American Newspapers]

Thurgood Marshall