- Marc A. Sennewald
civil rights attorney and U.S. Supreme Court justice. Thurgood (originally Thoroughgood) Marshall grew up on Druid Hill Avenue, which was the center of the African American working-class community in the segregated city of Baltimore. His father, William, worked as a dining car waiter on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and as head steward at the exclusive Gibson Island club on the Chesapeake Bay. Marshall's mother, Norma Arica, had studied briefly at Columbia University in New York and taught kindergarten in Baltimore's segregated schools.
Marshall was a masterful storyteller and raconteur who often embellished his narratives to make a point One of his stories had it that in grammar school he had to memorize sections of the Constitution as punishment for classroom misbehavior By the time he left the school he knew the whole thing by heart an auspicious start for the man who would become the twentieth century ...
A version of this article originally appeared in The Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present.