Today, May 17th, The Episcopal Church commemorates the Feast of Thurgood Marshall. The Honorable Thurgood Marshall is best remembered as the first African-American to sit on the Supreme Court and for his work arguing the groundbreaking, and unanimous, victory in Brown v. Board of Education. Over his career, Marshall would win 29 of his 32 cases argued before the Supreme Court – winning his first at age 32 – but it is his role in Brown v. Board of Education that has had the greatest impact on our common life. His work on this case began the long, and not yet finished, process of dismantling segregation and apartheid in America – the process of trying to become a nation where the law recognizes that God has created all of us with equal love.
Today, we call on Episcopalians to observe his Feast Day by studying his life and work. The Archives of the Episcopal Church provides a wonderful starting point with a biography on Marshall in their series, The Church Awakens. Marshall was a lifelong Episcopalian, attending parishes in Harlem and Washington, DC, and serving as a deputy to the 1964 General Convention. His life and work provide an example for all to follow as we strive to “obey God’s call to follow justice wherever it may lead.”Eternal and ever-gracious God, you blessed your servant Thurgood Marshall with exceptional grace and courage to discern and speak the truth: Grant that, following his example, we may know you and recognize that we are all your children, brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, who teaches us to love one another; and who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.More from the Archives: https://episcopalarchives.org/…/show/leadership/lay/marshall