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Black Figures in Criminal Justice


Lexus HarrisLexus Harris
February 22, 2021

Hello everyone! My name is Lexus Harris and I am a Criminal Justice major here at UNC, aspiring to become a criminal defense attorney. I have a long way to go but the way has been paved by many Black lawyers who came before me, like, Thurgood Marshall.

Mr. Marshall was a progressive attorney during the civil rights era who later became the first African American Supreme Court Justice. Mr. Marshall attended Howard University School of Law and graduated in 1933. During his years in higher education, he was mentored by Charles Hamilton Houston and was trained on how to use his vast knowledge of the law to fight for equality in America, specifically, within the education system.

Marshall is well recognized for his role in the Brown vs. The Board of Education case, where he challenged that “separate” was not “equal” and won, with the result being the desegregation of schools. Though this is one of his most famous cases, we never really learn about the other hundreds that Thurgood Marshall argued and also won throughout the civil rights movement. In 1967 Marshall was nominated by President Johnson to serve on the Supreme Court Justice and two months later was confirmed by the Senate, making him the first Black person ever to serve as a Justice.

It is because of Thurgood Marshall’s trailblazing legacy, and that of many other Black lawyers, that I am passionate about making my stance within the courtroom as well.

Learn more Thurgood Marshall

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