Thurgood Marshall and the other attorneys who argued the Brown v. Board of Education case discuss their stunning victory before the U.S. Supreme Court, and how this decision will impact society moving forward.
Supreme Court Rules on Brown v Board of Education
JAMES NABRIT, Civil Rights Attorney: It is my opinion that the South will be law abiding and will comply with the decision of the Court and accept as members of our democratic society.
THURGOOD MARSHALL, Civil Rights Attorney: I don’t think there is any question about it in the south, the people of the south are just as law abiding as anybody else. And other decisions have come down that said that they will abide, and there has never been any problem with any of those … In Mississippi, 9,000 Negroes got together and discussed segregation and the ending of segregation, and that was in Mississippi.
Unidentified Man with attorneys: In the District of Columbia it seems to me particularly significant that we’ve already most of the distance including parochial schools and even in the school system itself. I’m satisfied that they have prepared for this ultimate decision believing that this was gonna be decided as it should be.
Reporter: Are you people looking forward to any other advances you are going to make or advancements?
MARSHALL: Well we have a five-point program already in effect which will clean up and end segregation in the cultures in the south. And then we are going to the bus transportation area, from there we are going to local transportation, among and to several cities. We hope to get Negroes into hospitals without segregation or regulation programs. But I emphasize that this has already started, that campaign has been going on since last year. We do believe that this decision in itself will encourage the people to take further steps without litigation in any areas. And that’s what I think is important…
Editor's Note: Slavery ended in 1865, but racial segregation laws quickly followed. Segregation had been allowed in 1896 by the United States Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson. In that case, the court said segregation did not violate the 14th Amendment if the separate offerings for different races were equal. In Brown v. Board of Education, the court overruled this "separate but equal" principle.