FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT: Dedra Owens
[email protected], 202-491-0845
THURGOOD MARSHALL CENTER TRUST
PRESENTS A FILM AND PANEL DISCUSSION ON WILMINGTON 10
Washington, DC – June 30, 2015 On Thursday, July 2, on what would be Thurgood Marshall’s 107th birthday, the Thurgood Marshall Center Trust will screen the documentary film, “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington 10.” “Pardons of Innocence” recounts the turbulent history of desegregation from the late 1960s to 1971 as protestors fought for equal education for students of North Carolina’s New Hanover Public Schools.
Following the movie, a distinguished group of panelists will discuss the film against the backdrop of the range of social and racial issues that is riling the United States. The event, is free and open to the public, begins at 5:30 p.m., and takes place at the Thurgood Marshall Center for Service and Heritage, 1816 12th Street, NW.
The panel will be moderated by Civil Rights historian and labor activist Jamaal L. Craig. The other participants are Civil Rights leader Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr., currently president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association; Harvard University professor Lani Guinier; Elaine Jones, former president/director-counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; and James Ferguson, founder and president of Ferguson, Chambers & Sumpter, P.A.
About Thurgood Marshall: Marshall holds a special place in African-American history. Before he became this country’s first black Supreme Court justice, he forged a stellar legal career as a lawyer, judge and Civil Rights activist.
In 1936, Marshall became the NAACP’s chief legal counsel and founded the NAACP Legal Defense Fund four years later where he served as its first Director-Counsel. He was the key strategist and one of the lead attorneys in the decades-long effort to end racial segregation, and litigated a series of cases that would ultimately topple the pillars of segregation. As NAACP counsel, Marshall used the judiciary to bring about equality for African Americans, in an effort to ensure that blacks enjoyed all the rights and privileges of other Americans.
He argued “separate but equal” cases twice before the US Supreme Court in 1952 and 1953 and successfully challenged the law that legitimized “separate but equal” facilities for blacks and whites. In 1954, he and the NAACP legal team won the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, as the US Supreme Court ended racial segregation in public schools.
He was the first African American appointed to the US Supreme Court in 1967 by President Lyndon Johnson and retired as Associate Justice in 1991.