Oliver Hill and Thurgood Marshall: NAACP Litigators William G. Thomas, III HIST 604: Civil Rights in U.S. and Virginia History
The Standards o f Learning VUS.13- The student will demonstrate knowledge of Civil Rights movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s by identifying the importance of Brown v. Board of Education decision, the roles of Thurgood Marshall and Oliver Hill, and how Virginia responded; B) describing the importance of the NAACP, the 1963 March on Washington, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965
The Standards of Learning CE.6- The Student will demonstrate knowledge of the American constitutional government by explaining the relationship of state governments to the national government in the federal system; B) describing the structure and powers of local, state, and national governments C) explaining the principle of separation of powers and the operation of checks and balances.
The Standards of Learning CE.7 - The student will demonstrate knowledge of how public policy is made at the local, state, and national levels of government by A) explaining the lawmaking process;
The Standards of Learning CE.8 - The student will demonstrate knowledge of the judicial systems established by the Constitution of Virginia and the Constitution of the United States by describing the organization and jurisdiction of federal and state courts; B) describing the exercise of judicial review C) explaining court proceedings in civil and criminal cases; D) explaining how due process protections seek to ensure justice
The Standards of Learning USI.10 - The student will demonstrate knowledge of the effects of Reconstruction on American Life by identifying the provisions of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States and their impact on the expansion of freedom in America
The Standards of Learning VUS.8 - The student will demonstrate knowledge of how the nation grew and changed from the end of Reconstruction through the early 20th century by G) analyzing prejudice and discrimination during this time period, with emphasis on “Jim Crow” and the responses of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois;
The Standards of Learning GOVT.5 - The student will demonstrate knowledge of the federal system described in the Constitution of the United States by explaining the relationship of the state governments to the national government; B) describing the extent to which power is shared; D) examining the ongoing debate that focuses on the balance of power between state and national governments.
The Standards of Learning GOVT.7 - The student will demonstrate knowledge of the organization and powers of the national government by examining the legislative, executive, and judicial branches; B) analyzing the relationship between the three branches in a system of checks and balances.
The Standards of Learning GOVT.11 - The student will demonstrate knowledge of civil liberties and civil rights by G) analyzing due process of law expressed in the 5th and 14th Amendments; I) exploring the balance between individual liberties and the public interest; explaining every citizen’s right to be treated equally under the law.
Oliver Hill “ I believe that most white folks thought that segregation was right and proper, and apparently saw nothing wrong with unequal treatment of Negroes. However, the few Whites who discuss the situation talked as if the only reason that segregation existed was because the law required it. this type of talk led some Negroes to believe that if the Segregation laws did not exist, segregation would vanish. In a back-handed way, this led many Negroes to believe that white folks had greater respect for the law than they in fact did. However, when the Supreme Court ruled the Segregation laws unconstitutional , many Negroes experienced a rude awakening as white folks’ reputed great respect for
Oliver Hill ..the law disappeared. Like many other people, Segregationist only respect the law when they perceive it is favorable to them. Many white folks sought every conceivable means to circumvent the change that the law mandated” The Big Bang Brown vs. Board of Education and Beyond: The Autobiography of Oliver W. Hill, Sr. By Oliver W. Hill, 2000 Pg.73
Oliver Hill “Even though we initially sought enforcement the separate But equal rule, I once argued before the Court of Appeals that if a school board built two schools side by side, brick, by brick, room for room, with identical materials, curricula, and furnishings and limited Negro children to attending one school and white children to attending the other, I would still say it was discriminatory against the Negroes. As long as Negroes are excluded from the societal mainstream, they will continue to be relegated to a form of second-class citizenship.
Oliver Hill “When the government excludes a person through segregation laws, and the general society by custom, that exclusion places the excluded person in a position where too many things that happen that the person doesn’t know anything about. White children going to school have parents who are involved in various functions in the political, business and social affairs of the community. Those children bring experiences, perspectives, and other things to schools that black children have had no opportunity to become familiar with.” The Big Bang Brown vs. Board of Education and Beyond: The Autobiography of Oliver W. Hill, Sr. By Oliver W. Hill, 2000 Pg.148
Oliver Hill “To maintain or achieve political domination nationally, both political parties sacrificed Negroes’ civil rights on the altar of political expediency so that they could achieve or maintain their legislative objectives. Between Reconstruction and the Roosevelt eras this pattern of political treachery prevailed with particularly harsh consequences to Negroes. In essence, everybody was getting something except Negroes. As in everything else, in politics, generally, it was the Negro against the world.” The Big Bang Brown vs. Board of Education and Beyond: The Autobiography of Oliver W. Hill, Sr. By Oliver W. Hill, 2000 Pg.214
Thurgood Marshall “A lawsuit is an educational process in itself. It educates not only the defendant and his lawyers, it also enlightens the general public in the area. When we were fighting to get Herman Sweatt into the University of Texas, more than 200 white students set up an NAACP branch on the campus. They even built and manned a booth on campus, to collect funds to help defray our legal expenses. They were a little worried the first day when they saw a policeman, on the opposite side of the street, eyeing the booth for a long time… until he walked over to the booth, said, ‘If you kids want that Cullud [sic] man in your school so bad, you sure got a right to have him.’ and handed them five dollars.” A Defiant life Thurgood Marshall and the persistence of racism in America, Howard Ball, 1998. Pg 63
Thurgood Marshall “This is necessary if we are to keep our position clear which is that we do not consider segregation statutes legal, do not recognize them as being legal and will continue to challenge them in legal proceedings. Finally, it must be pointed out that ... the NAACP cannot take part in any legal proceeding which seeks to enforce segregation statutes, which condones segregation in public schools, or which admits the validity of these statutes.” A Defiant life Thurgood Marshall and the persistence of racism in America, Howard Ball, 1998. Pg 93. NAACP statement of change in strategy from equalization to challenging segregation per se.
Thurgood Marshall “I got the feeling on hearing the discussion yesterday that when you put a white child in a school with a whole lot of colored children, the child would fall apart or something. Everybody knows this is not true. Those same kids in Virginia and South Carolina - and I have seen them do it - they play in the streets together, they play on their farms together, they go down the road together, they separate to go to school, they come out of school and play ball together. They have to be separated in school. Why, of all the multitudinous groups of people in this country, [do] you have to single out the Negroes and give them this separate treatment? ... The only thing it can be is an ... A Defiant life Thurgood Marshall and the persistence of racism in America, Howard Ball, 1998. Pg 123. Transcript before Supreme Court in Brown.
Thurgood Marshall “inherent determination that the people who were formerly in slavery, regardless of anything else, shall be kept as near to that stage as is possible. And now is the time, we submit, that this court should make it clear that it is not what the Constitution stands for.” A Defiant life Thurgood Marshall and the persistence of racism in America, Howard Ball, 1998. Pg 123
Thurgood Marshall “Negro children in these cases are arbitrarily excluded from state public schools set apart for the dominant white groups. Such a practice can only be continued on a theory that Negroes, qua Negroes, are inferior to all other Americans. The constitutional and statutory provisions herein challenged cannot be upheld without a clear determination that Negroes are inferior and, therefore, must be segregated from other human beings. Certainly, such a ruling would destroy the intent and purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment and the very equalitarian basis of our Government.” A Defiant life Thurgood Marshall and the persistence of racism in America, Howard Ball, 1998. Pg 129. Quote from NAACP brief in Brown.
Thurgood Marshall “if President Eisenhower had used his good offices to say that ‘this is the law and it should be obeyed’, that would have accomplished much. We hoped for it. And we found out too late that indeed, Eisenhower was opposed to it [Brown’s ruling that called for school desegregation], and was working against it, and even went so far as to try to convince Chief Justice Warren to vote the other way. That to my mind is the most despicable job that any president has done in my life.” A Defiant life Thurgood Marshall and the persistence of racism in America, Howard Ball, 1998. Pg 169.