The Best Thurgood Marshall quotes

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It is not often that a person’s life can be summed up in a single word, but for Thurgood Marshall, adversity would suffice. From birth to death, Marshall faced more than his fair share of challenges, yet he emerged as one of the most influential figures in American history. This is his best quotes.

We are glad to present you the deepest quotes from Thurgood Marshall, and much more.


About Thurgood Marshall

birth of the author

July 2, 1908

death of the author

January 24, 1993

political of the author

Political Party:

education of the author

Lincoln University, Pennsylvania

Inspiring Phrases From Thurgood Marshall

None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. — Thurgood Marshall

You do what you think is right and let the law catch up. — Thurgood Marshall

The First Amendment serves not only the needs of the polity but also those of the human spirit–a spirit that demands self–expression . — Thurgood Marshall

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

none of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps Thurgood Marshall quote

What is the quality of your intent? — Thurgood Marshall

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

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

Various Statements From Thurgood Marshall

Customary greeting to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, What’s shaking, chiefy baby? — Thurgood Marshall

Mere access to the courthouse doors does not by itself assure a proper functioning of the adversary process. — Thurgood Marshall

customary greeting to chief justice warren e burger what s shaking chiefy baby Thurgood Marshall quote

Lawlessness is lawlessness. Anarchy is anarchy is anarchy. Neither race nor color nor frustration is an excuse for either lawlessness or anarchy. — Thurgood Marshall

It was taken for granted that we had to make something of ourselves. Not much was said about it; it was just in the atmosphere of the home. — Thurgood Marshall

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 (by American newspapers). — Thurgood Marshall

In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute. — Thurgood Marshall

Some years ago I said in an opinion that if this country is a melting pot, then either the Afro–Americans didn’t get in the pot or he didn’t get melted down. — Thurgood Marshall

More Phrases From Thurgood Marshall

T]he Constitution was a product of its times. [Progressive] — Thurgood Marshall

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, by Hastie, 1984. — Thurgood Marshall

The Ku Klux Klan never dies. They just stop wearing sheets because sheets cost too much. — Thurgood Marshall

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

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

t he constitution was a product of its times progressive Thurgood Marshall quote

Truth is more than a mental exercise. — Thurgood Marshall

To protest against injustice is the foundation of all our American democracy. — Thurgood Marshall

Deeper Quotes From Thurgood Marshall

The measure of a country’s greatness is its ability to retain compassion in time of crisis. — Thurgood Marshall

Marshall would later say, ‘In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute. — Gilbert King

It is] a historic step toward eliminating the shameful practice of racial discrimination in the selection of juries. — Thurgood Marshall

we must dissent from the fear Thurgood Marshall quote

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

Laws not only provide concrete benefits, they can even change the hearts of men–some men, anyhow–for good or evil. — Gilbert King

Redundant Thematics

In Thurgood Marshall Statements


Deciding not to decide is, of course, among the most important things done by the Supreme Court. It takes a lot of doing, but it can be done. — Thurgood Marshall

We must dissent from the fear. — Thurgood Marshall

Amazing Thoughts From Thurgood Marshall

Equal means getting the same thing, at the same time and in the same place. — Thurgood Marshall

equal means getting the same thing at the same time and in the same place Thurgood Marshall quote

What’s shaking, chiefy baby? — Thurgood Marshall

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

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

Our Constitution is the envy of the world, as it should be for it is the grand design of the finest nation on earth. — Thurgood Marshall

A lawyer’s either a social engineer or he’s a parasite on society. — Gilbert King

what s shaking chiefy baby Thurgood Marshall quote

Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men’s minds. — Thurgood Marshall

Some Interesting Quotes From Thurgood Marshall

I have a lifetime appointment and I intend to serve it. I expect to die at 110, shot by a jealous husband. — Thurgood Marshall

We cannot play ostrich. Democracy just cannot flourish amid fear. Liberty cannot bloom amid hate. Justice cannot take root amid rage. America must get to work. — Thurgood Marshall

I’m the world’s original gradualist. I just think ninety–odd years is gradual enough. — Thurgood Marshall

Sometimes history takes things into its own hands. — Thurgood Marshall

i m the world s original gradualist i just think ninety odd years is gradual enough Thurgood Marshall quote

History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure. — Thurgood Marshall

Each of you, as an individual, must pick your own goals. Listen to others, but do not become a blind follower. — Thurgood Marshall

Ending racial discrimination in jury selection can be accomplished only by eliminating peremptory challenges entirely. — Thurgood Marshall


Though he faced many challenges in his life, Thurgood Marshall remained an optimist and used his words to empower others. His speeches and quotes are still inspiring today. We hope these quotes have motivated you to take action and learn more about what you can do to make a difference in the world. If you’re looking for ways to get started, check out our courses page where we offer free resources that can help you make a positive impact in your community.


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