51 Inspirational Thurgood Marshall Quotes On Race, Rights And Justice

Justice is the foundation of modern society.
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Thurgood Marshall is a renowned lawyer who has made remarkable contributions in various different subjects and is considered a source to curb discrimination, injustice and inequalities of America.

Thurgood Marshall is known for his remarkable work on various subjects including civil rights, curbing discrimination, racism, and injustice. A person of freewill, Thurgood Marshall had lived through some of the worst times of race relations in American history that shaped and formed his legal philosophy throughout.

Thurgood Marshall was appointed as the first African American Black Supreme Court Justice on 30 August 1967 and served as the justice of the court till 1991 for 24 years. One of his most remarkable rulings was the remarkable judgment in the case ‘Brown v. Board of Education' where the famous quote “You do what you think is right and let the law catch up” was said. Let’s take a look at some of the best quotes on race, rights, and justice from Thurgood Marshall to enlighten you about this. If you find this article interesting, make sure to look through black history quotes and [lawyer quotes].

Thurgood Marshall Famous Quotes

Thurgood Marshall had seen some of the worst times of his life, and was a victim of racism, discrimination, and injustice in America. Let’s take a look at some of the most inspirational quotes from Thurgood Marshall to motivate you to fight against these injustices.

Discrimination is the biggest form of injustice.

1. "A man can make what he wants of himself if he truly believes that he must be ready for hard work and many heartbreaks."

- Thurgood Marshall

2. “We can always stick together when we are losing, but tend to find means of breaking up when we’re winning. In grace under pressure.”

- Thurgood Marshall

3. “I’m the world’s original gradualist. I just think ninety-odd years is gradual enough.”

- Thurgood Marshall

4. “Truth is more than a mental exercise.”

- Thurgood Marshall

5. “The process of democracy is one of change. Our laws are not frozen into immutable form, they are constantly in the process of revision in response to the needs of a changing society.”

- Thurgood Marshall

6. “You do what you think is right and let the law catch up,”

- Thurgood Marshall

7. “Certain people have a way of saying things that shake us at the core.”

- Thurgood Marshall

8. “When the prison gates slam behind an inmate, he does not lose his human quality; his mind does not become closed to ideas; his intellect does not cease to feed on a free and open interchange of opinions; his yearning for self-respect does not end; nor is his quest for self-realization concluded.”

- Thurgood Marshall

9. “Each of you, as an individual, must pick your own goals. Listen to others, but do not become a blind follower.”

- Thurgood Marshall

10. “What each of us must come to realize is that our intent always comes through.”

- Thurgood Marshall

11. “We got here because somebody – a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns – bent down and helped us pick up our boots.”

- Thurgood Marshall

12. “I never worked hard until I got to the Howard Law School and met Charlie Houston... I saw this man's dedication, his vision, his willingness to sacrifice, and I told myself, 'You either shape up or ship out.'”

- Thurgood Marshall

13. “My father had a flat rule. He believed that every man's house was his castle. He had a flat rule: no man could come in his house without his permission.”

- Thurgood Marshall

14. "If the First Amendment means anything, it means that a state has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his house, what books he may read or what films he may watch."

- Thurgood Marshall

Quotes By Thurgood Marshall About Racism

Thurgood Marshall has made significant contributions in various different fields, he is renowned for his liberal contributions to the areas of civil rights and criminal procedure to curb injustice, discrimination, and racism. Let’s take a look at some of the best quotes from Thurgood Marshall about race, and racism.

Civil rights have the power to curb injustice.

15. “I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust…We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.”

- Thurgood Marshall

16. “The measure of a country's greatness is its ability to retain compassion in times of crisis.”

- Thurgood Marshall

17. “Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men’s minds.”

- Thurgood Marshall

18. “Racism separates, but it never liberates. Hatred generates fear, and fear once given a foothold; binds, consumes and imprisons. Nothing is gained from prejudice. No one benefits from racism.”

- Thurgood Marshall

19. “Lawlessness is lawlessness. Anarchy is anarchy is anarchy. Neither race nor color nor frustration is an excuse for either lawlessness or anarchy.”

- Thurgood Marshall

20. “We deal here with the right of all of our children, whatever their race, to an equal start in life and to an equal opportunity to reach their full potential as citizens."

- Thurgood Marshall

21. “The United States has been called the melting pot of the world. But it seems to me that the colored man either missed getting into the pot or he got melted down.”

- Thurgood Marshall

22. "Ending racial discrimination in jury selection can be accomplished only by eliminating peremptory challenges entirely."

- Thurgood Marshall

23. "A child born to a Black mother in a state like Mississippi... has exactly the same rights as a white baby born to the wealthiest person in the United States. It's not true, but I challenge anyone to say it is not a goal worth working for."

- Thurgood Marshall

24. “When you hear a lot of stories about Africa, and you get to a place like Kenya and other countries like that, where they think the same way we do, I was happy to find that the Schedule of Rights that I drew for the Kenyan Government was working very well.”

- Thurgood Marshall

25. "Those children who have been denied that right in the past deserve better than to see fences thrown up to deny them that right in the future.”

- Thurgood Marshall

Best Thurgood Marshall Justice Quotes

Thurgood Marshall, one of the finest American Supreme court Justice, worked against injustice throughout his working in the supreme court. Let’s take a look at some of the best Thurgood Marshall quotes on justice to motivate you to fight against any such happenings.

26. "Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on."

- Thurgood Marshall

27. “The Ku Klux Klan never dies. They just stop wearing sheets because sheets cost too much.”

- Thurgood Marshall

28. "Sometimes history takes things into its own hands."

- Thurgood Marshall

29. “The death penalty is no more effective a deterrent than life imprisonment… It is also evident that the burden of capital punishment falls upon the poor, the ignorant and the underprivileged members of society.”

- Thurgood Marshall

30. “As soon as I reach any town, I talk to the shoe-shine boys or the barbers or the people in the restaurants, because it's Mr. Joe Doakes who is very close to reality.”

- Thurgood Marshall

31. “We must dissent from a government that has left its young without jobs, education or hope. We must dissent from the poverty of vision and the absence of moral leadership. We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better”

- Thurgood Marshall

32. “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.”

- Thurgood Marshall

Informative Quotes From Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall always believed that America can do better and that a country's greatness is its ability to fear the hatred, dissent from indifference, and dissent from the apathy of color-ism. Let's take a look at these Thurgood Marshall quotes.

33. “History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.”

- Thurgood Marshall

34. “It is important that the strongest pressures against the continuation of segregation, North or South, be continually and constantly manifested. Probably, as much as anything else, this is the key in the elimination of discrimination in the United States.”

- Thurgood Marshall

35. "Mere access to the courthouse doors does not by itself assure a proper functioning of the adversary process."

- Thurgood Marshall

36. “Deciding not to decide is, of course, among the most important things done by the Supreme Court.”

- Thurgood Marshall

37. “Surely the fact that a uniformed police officer is wearing his hair below his collar will make him no less identifiable as a policeman.”

- Thurgood Marshall

38. “We will only attain freedom if we learn to appreciate what is different and muster the courage to discover what is fundamentally the same."

- Thurgood Marshall

39. “Equal means getting the same thing, at the same time and in the same place.”

- Thurgood Marshall

40. "Today's Constitution is a realistic document of freedom only because of several corrective amendments. Those amendments speak to a sense of decency and fairness that I and other Blacks cherish."

- Thurgood Marshall

Famous Thurgood Marshall Quotes

A fun fact about the famous man Thurgood Marshall is that at his birth on 2 July 1908, his first name was Thorough good, but as a child, Marshall tired of having to write out such a long name. He shortened his name to Thurgood Marshall in the second grade. So, now let’s look at some of the most famous quotes from Thurgood Marshall who was not afraid to speak his mind against the practice of discrimination, injustice, and racism.

41. "What is the quality of your intent? Certain people have a way of saying things that shake us at the core. Even when the words do not seem harsh or offensive, the impact is shattering. What we could be experiencing is the intent behind the words."

- Thurgood Marshall

42. “Even when the words do not seem harsh or offensive, the impact is shattering.”

43. “Classifications and distinctions based on race or color have no moral or legal validity in our society. They are contrary to our constitution and laws.”

- Thurgood Marshall

44. "America’s diversity offers so much richness and opportunity. Take a chance, won’t you? Knockdown the fences, which divide. Tear apart the walls that imprison you. Reach out. Freedom lies just on the other side. We shall have liberty for all.”

- Thurgood Marshall

45. “When you are being challenged by a great human being, you know that you can't ship out.”

- Thurgood Marshall

46. “This is a great country, but fortunately for you, it is not perfect. There is much to be done to bring about complete equality. Remove hunger. Bring reality closer to theory and democratic principles.”

- Thurgood Marshall

47. “Nothing can be more notorious than the calumnies and invectives with which the wisest measures and most virtuous characters of The United States have been pursued and traduced.”

- Thurgood Marshall

48. “We must dissent from the fear.”

- Thurgood Marshall

49. “In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”

- Thurgood Marshall

50. "None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody – a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns – bent down and helped us pick up our boots."

- Thurgood Marshall

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

- Thurgood Marshall

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Thurgood Marshall Quotes then why not take a look at [i have a dream speech quotes], or [social justice quotes].

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