Danielle Holley-Walker, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Angela Rye and Todd A. Cox
credit: Henrieese Roberts

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Thurgood Marshall’s appointment to the Supreme Court.  Late last month Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) hosted a Black History Month conversation to discuss civil rights, voting rights and the nation’s first African-American justice.

At the event, titled “50 Years of Civil Rights Since Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall,” Norton moderated a panel of guests featuring Danielle Holley-Walker, dean of Howard University Law School; Todd A. Cox, director of policy at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; and Angela Rye, CEO of Impact Strategies and former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Holley-Walker spoke very proudly of Marshall’s being educated at Howard University and said that his being solicitor general of the U.S. prepared him to be the nation’s first African-American Supreme Court justice. Considering Marshall’s work declaring segregated schools unconstitutional, she went on to say that today, schools located in areas of dire poverty that cannot create stable environments of actualization need to be economically and racially integrated to bring more tax dollars to struggling school districts.

Thurgood Marshall had many accomplishments and merits. I’m proud that a memorial statue of him was erected in 1996 on Lawyer’s Mall near the Statehouse in Annapolis, Md. — my hometown. I urge more of our readers to dig in and research his legacy.