“In recognizing the humanity in our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.” -Thurgood Marshall

Laurence Fishburne

Yesterday, Laurence Fishburne was nominated for an Emmy for his performance as Thurgood Marshall in the one-man play Thurgood, written by George Stevens Jr.

The Washington Post reported on Fishburne’s performance:

And in his embodiment of the proud, ambitious, restless Marshall, who took robustly to heart the idea that the law can be a powerful tool for social change, Fishburne cements a bond of astonishing intimacy with his audience. By the time he arrives at the end of the story, as an aged insider in one of the nation’s most revered institutions [the Supreme Court], the actor will have completed the task of confiding the details of Marshall’s life in a most entertainingly digestible way.

Thurgood Marshall’s life and the strides he made for black Americans is explored in great detail in Morgan Reynolds’s Thurgood Marshall by Nancy Whitelaw in the Supreme Court Justices series (ISBN 9781599351575). Whitelaw wrote of the renowned Justice, “Sometimes salty, always aggressive, Marshall was impossible to ignore. Whether disagreeing with out civil rights leaders, General Douglas McArthur, or the increasingly conservative Supreme Court of his later years, Marshall never hesitated to speak his mind.”

Fishburne said of Marshall, “He was a very, very funny man. He was also a very serious man.”

Marshall was known for his sense of humor. He once said about his role as a Justice, “I have a lifetime appointment and I intend to serve it. I expect to die at 110, shot by a jealous husband.”

But his serious side, that passionate never-say-never attitude, was what made him able to make progress for black Americans during the Civil Rights Movement as a Supreme Court Justice.

In a video discussing Marshall and his play, George Stevens Jr. said, “Marshall was a man of heroic imagination.”

Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor

Published in: on July 15, 2011 at 1:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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