Larry Gibson's biography of the late Supreme Court justice and civil rights activist Thurgood Marshall emphasizes Marshall's dedication and commitment to the cause of civil rights for African-Americans in the United States. Gibson describes the challenges the young Thurgood faced growing up in a time of serious racial tension throughout the South (Marshall grew up in Baltimore, Maryland) and traces Marshall's rise both in his chosen profession of the law and in the civil rights movement -- a career in which those would be largely inseparable.
As counsel to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Marshall was both professionally and tempermentally well-situated to advance the cause of civil rights. As chief counsel to the NAACP, Marshall played a major role in one of the signal moments of the civil rights movement, "Brown versus the Board of Education." In that case, Marshall argued before the Supreme Court against the concept of "separate but equal" that was used as the foundation of racial segregation.
Gibson describes the hurdles a young black lawyer faced operating in the South in the age of segregation, and the skills and tenacity required to overcome those obstacles. An acknowledged admirer of Marshall, Gibson's biography pays homage to the first African-American Supreme Court Justice.