Tag: Thurgood Marshall

R.I.P. William T. Coleman Jr., 96, Who Broke Racial Barriers in Supreme Court and White House Cabinet

William T. Coleman Jr., then the secretary of transportation, testified in 1976 before a Senate subcommittee. (Credit: Harvey Georges/Associated Press)

article by  via nytimes.com

William T. Coleman Jr., who championed the cause of civil rights in milestone cases before the Supreme Court and who rose above racial barriers himself as an influential lawyer and as a cabinet secretary, died Friday at his home in Alexandria, Va. He was 96.

His death was confirmed by a spokeswoman for the international law firm O’Melveny & Myers, where Mr. Coleman was a senior partner in its Washington office. He lived at a care facility with his wife of more than 70 years, Lovida Coleman. A lifelong Republican, Mr. Coleman was as comfortable in the boardrooms of powerful corporations — PepsiCo, IBM, Chase Manhattan Bank — as he was in the halls of government.

He was the second African-American to serve in a White House cabinet, heading the Department of Transportation. Mr. Coleman found success on the heels of a brilliant academic career, but he did so in the face of bigotry — what he called “the more subtle brand of Yankee racism” — from which his middle-class upbringing in Philadelphia did not shield him. In one episode, his high school disbanded its all-white swimming team rather than let him join it.

Those experiences would inform his efforts in three major civil rights cases before the United States Supreme Court. In one, Mr. Coleman, recruited by Thurgood Marshall, was an author of the legal briefs that successfully pressed the court to outlaw segregation in public schools in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Ten years later, he argued a case that led to a Supreme Court decision establishing the constitutionality of racially mixed sexual relations and cohabitation. (McLaughlin v. Florida, in which the Supreme Court overturned a Florida law that prohibited an interracial couple from living together under the state’s anti-miscegenation statutes.) And in 1982, he argued that segregated private schools should be barred from receiving federal tax exemptions. The court agreed.

Mr. Coleman was appointed transportation secretary by President Gerald R. Ford in March 1975, a little more than six months after Ford, who had been vice president, succeeded President Richard M. Nixon after Nixon’s resignation in the Watergate affair. Mr. Coleman, a corporate lawyer with expertise in transportation issues, was on the Pan Am board of directors at the time.

To read full article, go to: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/31/us/politics/william-coleman-jr-dies.html?_r=0

Chadwick Boseman’s Thurgood Marshall Movie Bought by Open Road Films

Chadwick Boseman
Chadwick Boseman (ROB LATOUR/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Dave McNary via Variety.com

Open Road Films has acquired all U.S. rights to “Marshall,” starring Chadwick Boseman as Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and Josh Gad as lawyer Sam Friedman.

Joining the previously announced cast are Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens, James Cromwell, Sterling K. Brown and Keesha Sharp (“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”).

Reginald Hudlin (producer of “Django Unchained”) is directing and Paula Wagner (“Mission: Impossible,” “The Last Samurai”) is producing through her Chestnut Ridge Productions banner along with Jonathan Sanger (“The Elephant Man”) and Hudlin.

Financiers are Star Light Media Inc., Hero Film Ltd. and Sky Legend along with Hunter Ryan and David Ryan.  Executive producers are Peter Luo and Belton Lee.

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has all international distribution rights for “Marshall,” which began principal photography in Buffalo, New York, on May 23. The production is utilizing New York State’s Film Production Program.

“Marshall” is based on the young Marshall defending a black chauffeur in 1941 against his wealthy socialite employer in a sexual assault and attempted murder trial that quickly became tabloid fodder. Marshall was partnered with Friedman, a young Jewish lawyer who had never tried a case.

The screenplay is a collaboration between renowned trial lawyer Michael Koskoff and his son, screenwriter Jacob Koskoff (“Macbeth”).

The film is being produced with the full support of the Marshall and Friedman estates, including their children, John W. Marshall and Lauren Friedman.

Yale University to Name Residential College After Civil and Women’s Rights Activist Anna Pauline Murray

Anna Pauline Murray
Anna Pauline Murray

article via naacp.org

Yale University is naming a new residential college after African-American Yale alumna and civil rights activist Anna Pauline “Pauli” Murray.  Pauli Murray is best known as a staunch civil rights and women’s rights advocate, lawyer and ordained Episcopal priest.  Ms. Murray’s lifelong commitment to ensuring a fair and just society for everyone serves as an inspiration and role model to NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks as well as many civil rights lawyers.

In 1938, Ms. Murray was denied admission to the University of North Carolina’s law school because she was African American – all schools and public facilities in the state were segregated.  Influenced by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and his practice of nonviolent civil disobedience, she joined with Bayard Rustin, George Houser and James Farmer to form the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).  While a student at Howard Law School, she participated in sit-ins to challenge the discriminatory seating policies of area restaurants.  These sit-ins preceded the more widespread and well-known sit-ins of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s.

After graduating from law school, Ms. Murray sought to continue her study of the law at Harvard University but was rejected because of her gender.  Her experiences with racism and gender inequality fueled her activism in the civil rights and women’s rights movements.  She authored a book, “States Laws on Race and Color” in 1951. Thurgood Marshall, then chief counsel at the  NAACP, described her book as the Bible for civil rights lawyers.  Upon completion of her doctorate in 1965, she became the first African American woman to be awarded a J.D.S from Yale University. Continue reading “Yale University to Name Residential College After Civil and Women’s Rights Activist Anna Pauline Murray”

‘The Black Count’ Wins 2013 Pulitzer Prize For Biography; ‘Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America’ for General Nonfiction

 Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie, aka Alexandre Dumas, aka “Black Devil” by some of the armies he fought against (let’s just say he was good at his job), aka The Black Count, is at the center of the recently published book from acclaimed author Tom Reiss. Its full title is The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo.  Dumas’ son, likely the most popular Dumas, also named Alexandre Dumas, was author of literary classics like The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.  In fact, Dumas, the father of the author, was the inspiration for The Count Of Monte Cristo.

Other 2013 Pulitzer Prize Winners of note include Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America by Gilbert King, in the General Nonfiction category. Continue reading “‘The Black Count’ Wins 2013 Pulitzer Prize For Biography; ‘Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America’ for General Nonfiction”

“Because of Them, We Can…” Campaign Features Children as Famous Black Figures (PHOTOS)

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(Courtesy of Eunique Jones Photography)

Photographer Eunique Jones’ photo series, ‘Because of them, we can…” , has made a splash on the Internet as a unique and creative take on the importance of Black History Month.  Her 28-photo project features more than 40 young children posing as some of the most iconic and influential black figures from the past and the present.

From Harriet Tubman to Spike Lee, the children are seen dressed and styled like the individual they are portraying and also incorporate an  inspirational quote from each particular famous person.  Jones, who has been a professional photographer for three years, says she was inspired to create the project for Black History Month because of her two children, Chase, 4, and Amari, seven months-old. She realized they had so many opportunities available to them today which would not have been possible without “the African-American individuals who paved the way for [my kids’] future.”

Continue reading ““Because of Them, We Can…” Campaign Features Children as Famous Black Figures (PHOTOS)”

How Super Bowl-Winning City Baltimore is Celebrating Black History Month

baltimoreAll eyes are on Baltimore this week as the Ravens took the Super Bowl title and Beyoncé cranked out perhaps the most electrifying halftime performance in history. It’s a great time to recognize that “Charm City” – a nickname created by then Mayor William Donald Schaefer and a bunch of ad agencies to boost the city’s national profile – is once again on the map as a vacation destination.

In honor of Black History Month, here’s a list of Baltimore’s events and exhibitions that pay tribute to the African-American men and women who helped shape the nation. Baltimore is a city shaped by the contributions of African-American visionaries including the likes of world famous jazz singer Billie Holiday; great orator Frederick Douglass, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall; and female abolitionist and “conductor” of the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman.

“Girl with Flag,” Bryan Collier  

“The Mountaintop” and Beyond

“The Mountaintop”
CENTERSTAGE
Through Feb. 24
The Lorraine Hotel. April 1968. In room 306, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. unwinds and prepares. A visit from a hotel maid offers welcome diversion and a challenging new perspective – but also raises profound and surprising questions. 

Already a worldwide sensation and recently hailed in a star-studded Broadway production, Katori Hall’s new play receives its Baltimore premiere. 

Continue reading “How Super Bowl-Winning City Baltimore is Celebrating Black History Month”

Multi-Cultural Manhattan School Teaches Youths the Value of Inclusiveness, Democracy, Justice & Freedom

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Ideal School of Manhattan administrators (l-r) Angela Bergeson, Head of School; David Byrnes, director of institutional equity, and Michelle Smith, school co-founder watch second-graders at work on a Civil Rights Museum project

A Civil Rights museum like no other is going to pop up in Manhattan later this week.  This one is meant to change the future.  Students at the Ideal School of Manhattan were busy constructing exhibits for the museum, a yearly event at the seven-year-old, independent K-to-eighth grade school.

Head of School Angela Bergeson said the museum started out as a yearly school assembly on civil rights, but became so popular that “we decided to devote the whole morning to the museum so that families could go room to room and see all the curriculum pieces, the writing, readings and plays.”

Each grade in the school is assigned an iconic figure from the Civil Rights or non-violence movements, along with an associated word around which the students create exhibits.

Continue reading “Multi-Cultural Manhattan School Teaches Youths the Value of Inclusiveness, Democracy, Justice & Freedom”

GBN Quote Of The Day

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

–Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice and the NAACP’s chief counsel on Brown vs. Board Of Education