Marshall and Johnson: Essay on Racial Segregation


Thurgood Marshall was a great man in history who changed many lives in the United States. He played many roles as a passionate lawyer and the first African American supreme court justice. Marshall even earned the nickname ¨Mr. Civil Rights.¨ Thurgood’s opportunity to become a judge of the supreme court only happened with Lyndon B. Johnson’s nomination; Lyndon B. Johnson was known as United States vice president, U.S. senator, and was known for his many roles later to become U.S. president. As prominent political figures, Thurgood Marshall and Lyndon B. Johnson worked together to pass laws to end racial segregation in schools and in public places, which ultimately created opportunities for African Americans.

In Lyndon B. Johnson early life he struggled with school, but however, he managed to still graduate high school. Then later, Johnson enrolled in Southwest Texas State Teachers college now known as Texas State University, where he participated in debates and campus politics (Lyndon B. Johnson 3). The year of 1960 Lyndon B. Johnson was elected the U.S. vice president. Soon in 1963 Johnson sworn in as president of the united states to replace president John F. Kennedy after his assassination (Johnson 2). Thurgood Marshall’s early life took place in Baltimore, Maryland.  His ancestors were slaves who were from the modern-day Democratic Republic of Congo. He studied at Frederick Douglass High School and was one of the top-achievers in class. Marshall attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, while he was at this university he joined a debate team and the Alpha Phi fraternity. After that he went to University of Maryland to attend law school but he was rejected because he was African American (Thurgood Marshall 3). 

One year later in 1964, people were adapting to the new laws because of the changes the two significant men have created. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the civil rights act which was set in place to end segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination based on race, religion, sex or national origin. Johnson passion for segregation to end was very intense because in 1965 he also signed the voting rights act to allow African Americans the rights to vote. After Johnson was sworn in as president he endorsed the late president’s programs and pushed through congress a few of his own. Johnson formed “Great Society” of many programs such as Medicare Act, Medicaid Act, The Voting Rights Act of 1965, Headstart, and Civil Rights Act. Thurgood Marshall utilized the judiciary to champion equality for African Americans. Marshall argues thirty-two cases and prevailed twenty-nine of them. 

Lyndon Johnson played a huge part in the Jim Crow laws. The jim crow laws was any laws that enforced racial segregation in the south between the end of reconstruction in 1877 and the beginning of the civil rights movement in the 1950s. As the civil rights movement gained momentum following the landmark decision in the 1954 Supreme Court case Brown V. Board of Education, which rule segregation in schools to be unconstitutional. The legislation prohibited racial discrimination in employment and education and outlawed racial segregation in public place and laid groundwork for the Voting Rights Act of 1965 ( Johnson 2). Marshall’s most famous case came in 1954 , which was Brown V. Board of Education. In this case Marshall argues that schools should not be segregated. At the time there were separate schools for black children and white children. Then Marshall began to push Plessy v. Ferguson case which is a U.S. Supreme Court case from 1896 that upheld the rights of states to pass laws allowing or even requiring racial segregation in public and private institutions such as schools, public transportation, restrooms, and restaurants.

The War on Poverty is the unofficial name for legislation first introduced by United States President Lyndon B. Johnson during his State of the Union address on Wednesday, January 8, 1964 ( Johnson 1). This legislation was proposed by Johnson in response to a national poverty rate of around nineteen percent (Johnson 2). The rhetoric of the War on Poverty quickly found its way into law and the creation of new federal programs and agencies. The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 was passed by Congress and became law in August 1964. Federal funds were sent to struggling communities to attack unemployment and illiteracy. As he campaigned in 1964, Johnson declared a "war on poverty” ( Johnson 1). He challenged Americans to build a "Great Society" that eliminated the troubles of the poor.

Thurgood Marshall was Chief Counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. At the age of 32,  Marshall won U.S. Supreme Court case Chambers v. Florida, 309 U.S. 227 (1940). That same year, he founded and became the executive director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund ( Marshall 3).  After founding the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in 1940, Marshall became the key strategist in the effort to end racial segregation, in particular meticulously challenging Plessy v. Ferguson (marshall 3). 

In conclusion, Lyndon B. Johnson and Thurgood Marshall helped end segregation. These two men played an important role in helping pass the law. Lyndon B. Johnson passed the law after John F. Kennedy was assassinated. They worked together to end racial segregation to schools and public places.

 

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