11, 222 (New Haven, Conn., 1911). 3. This speech Thurgood Marshall gave in 1987 was part of the constitutional bicentennial celebration. When the Founding Fathers used this phrase in 1787, they did not have in mind the majority of America's citizens. A Commission has been established to coordinate the celebration. And so again at the Constitutional Convention eloquent objections to the institution of slavery went unheeded, and its opponents eventually consented to a document which laid a foundation for the tragic events that were to follow. Political representation in the lower House of Congress was to be based on the population of “free Persons” in each State, plus threefifths of all “other Persons.” United States Constitution, Art. United States Constitution, Art. If we seek, instead, a sensitive understanding of the Constitution’s inherent defects, and its promising evolution through 200 years of history, the celebration of the “Miracle at Philadelphia” Bowen, Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention May to September 1787 (Boston 1966). The original intent of the phrase, "We the People," was far too clear for any ameliorating construction. They arose from the contradiction between guaranteeing liberty and justice to all, and denying both to Negroes. But Marshall was one of the few voices pointing out that the original constitution required numerous amendments and came to a crisis that required a Civil War to solve. It is a pleasure to speak here on the anniversary of our Nation’s independence. Speeches The Legal Attack to Secure Civil Rights. Otherwise, the odds are that for many Americans the bicentennial celebration will be little more than a blind pilgrimage to the shrine of the original document now stored in a vault in the National Archives. United States Constitution, Art. As an attorney fighting to secure equality and justice through the courts, Thurgood Marshall helped build the legal foundation for Martin Luther King’s challenges to segregation. The award recognizes similar long-term contributions by other members of the legal … Thurgood Marshall gave a speech on November 18, 1978, at the instillation of Wiley Branton as the dean of Howard Law School, where Thurgood Marshall earned his … Established by the American Bar Association and the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice in 1992, the Thurgood Marshall Award honors U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who epitomized individual commitment, in word and action, to the cause of civil rights in this country. I cannot accept this invitation, for I do not believe that the meaning of the Constitution was forever "fixed" at the Philadelphia Convention. Patriotic feelings will surely swell, prompting proud proclamations of the wisdom, foresight, and sense of justice shared by the Framers and reflected in a written document now yellowed with age. Very few Supreme Court justices have championed the First Amendment as consistently as Thurgood Marshall, the Court’s first black justice. (60 U.S.) 393, 405, 407408 (1857). Pennsylvania's Gouverneur Morris provides an example. “History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.” 5. Even these ringing phrases from the Declaration of Independence are filled with irony, for an early draft of what became that Declaration assailed the King of England for suppressing legislative attempts to end the slave trade and for encouraging slave rebellions. See Becker, The Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas 147 (1942). will, in my view, be a far more meaningful and humbling experience. Lawlessness is lawlessness. The progress has been dramatic, and it will continue. 1, 52 (Sept. 17, 1787). May 8, 1981. See Becker, The Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas 147 (1942). United States Constitution, Art. They could not have imagined, nor would they have accepted, that the document they were drafting would one day be construed by a Supreme Court to which had been appointed a woman and the descendent of an African slave. The planned commemoration will span three years, and I am told 1987 is "dedicated to the memory of the Founders and the document they drafted in Philadelphia." On a matter so basic as the right to vote, for example, Negro slaves were excluded, although they were counted for representational purposes at threefifths each. The Bicentennial Speech. Thurgood Marshall. Nor do I find the wisdom, foresight, and sense of justice exhibited by the Framers particularly profound. For a sense of the evolving nature of the Constitution we need look no further than the first three words of the document’s preamble: ‘We the People.” When the Founding Fathers used this phrase in 1787, they did not have in mind the majority of America’s citizens. Much has been written about Thurgood Marshall, but this is the first book to collect his own words. July 4, 1992. As someone who relishes the ability to do and say whatever I please, independence is a concept near and dear to my heart! They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race…; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit…. 356 Views Program ID: 151490-1 Category: Public Affairs Event Format: Speech Location: Washington, District of Columbia, United States First Aired: To make the compromise even more palatable, customs duties would be imposed at up to ten dollars per slave as a means of raising public revenues. Thurgood Marshall's Speech for Bicentennial of Constitution ... Marshall was notorious for allowing his Law Clerks to write his opinions. These omissions were intentional. The official meetings, essay contests, and festivities have begun. Maui, Hawaii, May 8, 1987 And so, nearly seven decades after the Constitutional Convention, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the prevailing opinion of the Framers regarding the rights of Negroes in America. As a result of compromise, the right of the southern States to continue importing slaves was extended, officially, at least until 1808. Very good possibility Kagan was quoting from a speech she wrote for Marshall. Some may more quietly commemorate the suffering, struggle, and sacrifice that has triumphed over much of what was wrong with the original document, and observe the anniversary with hopes not realized and promises not fulfilled. As someone who relishes the ability to do and say whatever I please, independence is a concept near and dear to my heart! We know that it actually lasted a good deal longer, as the Framers possessed no monopoly on the ability to trade moral principles for selfinterest. I cannot accept this invitation, for I do not believe that the meaning of the Constitution was forever "fixed" at the Philadelphia Convention. The Equality Speech. We the People” no longer enslave, but the credit does not belong to the Framers. 1987 marks the 200th anniversary of the United States Constitution. They could not have imagined, nor would they have accepted, that the document they were drafting would one day be construed by a Supreme Court to which had been appointed a woman and the descendent of an African slave. THURGOOD MARSHALL'S SPEECHES TO GENERAL AUDIENCES.....140 The Speech of June 1, 1966 141 The Speech of June 15, 1966 ..... 175 V. THURGOOD MARSHALL'S SPEECHES TOLAWYERS AND LAW STUDENTS.....203 The Speech of September 16, 1965 203 The Speech of April 27, 1966 244 What is striking is the role legal principles have played throughout America’s history in determining the condition of Negroes. Thus, in this bicentennial year, we may not all participate in the festivities with flagwaving fervor. In Maui, Hawaii May 6, 1987 Grandson of an enslaved person, Marshall lived … 1, 59 (Sept. 17, 1787). If we seek, instead, a sensitive understanding of the Constitution's inherent defects, and its promising evolution through 200 years of history, the celebration of the "Miracle at Philadelphia" Bowen, Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention May to September 1787 (Boston 1966). Politicians and Judges around the country were praising the “founding Fathers” for their genius at writing a document that established the guiding legal principles of the republic for generations. THE BRETHREN and other books document this. Thurgood Marshall Essay 1578 Words | 7 Pages. Supreme Court justice and civil rights advocate. Even these ringing phrases from the Declaration of Independence are filled with irony, for an early draft of what became that Declaration assailed the King of England for suppressing legislative attempts to end the slave trade and for encouraging slave rebellions. Thus, in this bicentennial year, we may not all participate in the festivities with flagwaving fervor. THURGOOD MARSHALL. They could not have imagined, nor would they have accepted, that the document they were drafting would one day be construed by a Supreme Court to which had been appointed a woman and the descendent of an African slave. Reflecting on his two decades on the Court and particularly on recent affirmative action rulings by the High Court, Justice Marshall reminded his audience that the United States had not yet achieved racial equality or as he termed it, a colorblind society. They were enslaved by law, emancipated by law, disenfranchised and segregated by law; and, finally, they have begun to win equality by law. Edited by J. Clay Smith, Jr. (2002). Thurgood Marshall. Neither race nor color nor frustration is an excuse for either lawlessness or anarchy. Remarks on the Bicentennial of the Constitution. “Racism separates, but it never libera During his 14-year tenure on the Court, Justice Marshall sided with the freedom of speech and the press in several landmark cases which set the precedent for the modern interpretation of the First Amendment we are familiar … Along the way, new constitutional principles have emerged to meet the challenges of a changing society. Bringing you history watch our learning cartoon network as we have fun with a biography on Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. And yet Governor Morris eventually accepted the threefifths accommodation. This speech Thurgood Marshall gave in 1987 was part of the constitutional bicentennial celebration. Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908–January 24, 1993), whose great-grandparents were enslaved, was the first Black justice appointed to the United States Supreme Court, where he served from 1967 to 1991. In the meantime, blacks joined America's military to fight its wars and invested untold hours working in its factories and on its farms, contributing to the development of this country's magnificent wealth and waiting to share in its prosperity. Moral principles against slavery, for those who had them, were compromised, with no explanation of the conflicting principles for which the American Revolutionary War had ostensibly been fought: the selfevident truths "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." While the Union survived the civil war, the Constitution did not. The economic interests of the regions coalesced: New Englanders engaged in the "carrying trade" would profit from transporting slaves from Africa as well as goods produced in America by slave labor. And yet almost another century would pass before any significant recognition was obtained of the rights of black Americans to share equally even in such basic opportunities as education, housing, and employment, and to have their votes counted, and counted equally. Thurgood Marshall Former Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States July 4, 1992 Independence Hall Philadelphia, PA *** It is a pleasure to speak here on the anniversary of our Nation’s independence. Thurgood Marshall Edition 1st ed. before the l3th Amendment could be adopted to abolish slavery, though not the consequences slavery would have for future Americans. But Marshall was one of the few voices pointing out that the original constitution required numerous amendments and came to a crisis that required a Civil War to solve. On 6 February 1958, King wrote Marshall to express his gratitude for Marshall’s efforts in the Montgomery bus boycott: “We will remain eternally grateful to you and your staff for the great … What is striking is the role legal principles have played throughout America's history in determining the condition of Negroes. The men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 could not have envisioned these changes. Anarchy is anarchy is anarchy. But the effects of the Framers’ compromise have remained for generations. The men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 could not have envisioned these changes. It was not the first such compromise. Slaves could be imported, if the commercial interests of the North were protected. To the contrary, the government they devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war, and momentous social transformation to attain the system of constitutional government, and its respect for the individual freedoms and human rights, we hold as fundamental today. I plan to celebrate the bicentennial of the Constitution as a living document, including the Bill of Rights and the other amendments protecting individual freedoms and human rights. The official meetings, essay contests, and festivities have begun. will, in my view, be a far more meaningful and humbling experience. Despite this clear understanding of the role slavery would play in the new republic, use of the words “slaves” and “slavery” was carefully avoided in the original document. IV. “The true miracle was not the birth of the Constitution, but its life,” Marshall, the first black to sit on the high court, said in a speech delivered to a legal convention in Maui, Hawaii. 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