"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Thurgood Marshall

This 1956 portrait of Thurgood Marshall by Betsy Graves Reyneau hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
“Thurgood Marshall played a major role in the 1940s and 1950s as a leader in the struggle to end racial discrimination in the United States. From 1938 to 1961, he served as chief staff lawyer for the NAACP. Marshall devoted much effort to tailoring arguments that led the Supreme Court to its unanimous 1954 Brown v. the Board of Education of the City of Topeka decision, which ruled segregation of public schools by race to be unconstitutional. But he realized the struggle was not over. At a party celebrating the Brown decision, Marshall warned his colleagues, ‘I don't want any of you to fool yourselves, it's just begun; the fight has just begun.’ He went on to become the first African American Supreme Court justice, nominated by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967.” -- National Portrait Gallery
 Betsy Graves
This 1954 photo entitled “Leaders in the Fight to End Segregation in the Nation's Public Schools”  showing the jubilation following the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.

“On May 17. 1954, civil rights attorneys George E. C. Hayes (l894~1968). Thurgood Marshall (l908-1997) and James M, Nabrit Jr, (1900-1997) celebrated a landmark victory after the United States Supreme Court announced its unanimous decision in the case of Brown v. Board of Education. When the Court agreed to hear legal challenges to the long­-held doctrine of "separate but equal" public schools, it consolidated five similar cases under a single name Oliver Brown et al v. the Boord of Education of Topeka. Lawyers for the combined cases included Marshall (center> chief counsel for the NAACP's legal Defense Fund and a lead attorney for Briggs v. Elliott, Which sought to end segregation in South Carolina"s public schools. Hayes (left) and Nabrit (right) formed the legal team for Bolling v. Sharpe, Which challenged public school segregation in Washington, D.C. This image captures the lawyers jubilation when the Supreme Court ruled public school segregation to be unconstitutional.” – National Portrait Gallery

Hear L. Michael Seidman discuss the Reyneau painting in an NPG Podcast, from February 25, 2010. 

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