Someone That Changed Your Life

As Mercy Housing continues to celebrate Black History Month, we are honoring Thurgood Marshall. Whether you know it or not, his life changed yours for the better.

“We make movies about Malcolm X, we get a holiday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, but every day we live with the legacy of Justice Thurgood Marshall.”

(source: The Washington Afro American newspaper (1993) referenced in “Thurgood Marshall” by Brenda Haugen)

Thurgood Marshall
Thurgood Marshall played a vital role in landmark Civil Rights cases. photo source:


Thurgood Marshall was the first African American Supreme Court Justice in U.S. history.


His legal career transformed housing and education in the U.S. forever. Here are just a few of his landmark cases:

  • Brown v. Board of Education (1954): decided “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal”— This paved the way for the desegregation of schools
  • Shelley v. Kraemer (1948): Racially restrictive housing covenants were denied by the Supreme Court
brown v. board of education on supreme court steps
The integration of schools in the U.S. was one of the greatest first steps in confronting systemic racism.
photo source:


He was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967 and served for 24 years. He graduated from Howard University in 1933 magna cum laude.

Thurgood Marshall as a student
In the 1930s it wasn’t easy for black Americans to pursue higher education. It took fearlessness and calculated risk-taking for Thurgood Marshall to excel. photo source:


Thurgood Marshall was prolific because he confronted, not just racism, but systemic racism. Supporting laws and court rulings that allowed Civil Rights leaders and heroes and heroines to fight injustices in places like housing and healthcare.

Thurgood Marshall’s work has brought so much respect, justice, and mercy into countless homes for generations.