23 Powerful Thurgood Marshall Quotes That Are Life-changing

1. “A man can make what he wants of himself if he truly believes that he must be ready for hard work and many heartbreaks.” ― Thurgood Marshall

2. “I’m the world’s original gradualist. I just think ninety-odd years is gradual enough.” ― Thurgood Marshall

3. “None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody – a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns – bent down and helped us pick up our boots.” ― Thurgood Marshall

4. “Truth is more than a mental exercise.” ― Thurgood Marshall

5. “Certain people have a way of saying things that shake us at the core. Even when the words do not seem harsh or offensive, the impact is shattering. What we could be experiencing is the intent behind the words. When we intend to do good, we do. When we intend to do harm, it happens. What each of us must come to realize is that our intent always comes through.” ― Thurgood Marshall

6. “In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.” ― Thurgood Marshall

7. “When the prison gates slam behind an inmate, he does not lose his human quality; his mind does not become closed to ideas; his intellect does not cease to feed on a free and open interchange of opinions; his yearning for self-respect does not end; nor is his quest for self-realization concluded.” ― Thurgood Marshall

8. “Sometimes history takes things into its own hands.” ― Thurgood Marshall

9. “Each of you, as an individual, must pick your own goals. Listen to others, but do not become a blind follower.” ― Thurgood Marshall

10. “Mere access to the courthouse doors does not by itself assure a proper functioning of the adversary process.” ― Thurgood Marshall

11. “Deciding not to decide is, of course, among the most important things done by the Supreme Court. It takes a lot of doing, but it can be done.” ― Thurgood Marshall

12. “What is the quality of your intent?” – Thurgood Marshall

13. “The measure of a country’s greatness is its ability to retain compassion in times of crisis.” ― Thurgood Marshall

14. “Equal means getting the same thing, at the same time and in the same place.” ― Thurgood Marshall

15. “History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.” ― Thurgood Marshall

16. “I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust…We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.” ― Thurgood Marshall

17. “We will only attain freedom if we learn to appreciate what is different and muster the courage to discover what is fundamentally the same. America’s diversity offers so much richness and opportunity. Take a chance, won’t you? Knockdown the fences, which divide. Tear apart the walls that imprison you. Reach out. Freedom lies just on the other side. We shall have liberty for all.” ― Thurgood Marshall

18. “You do what you think is right and let the law catch up,”

19. “We cannot play ostrich. Democracy just cannot flourish amid fear. Liberty cannot bloom amid hate. Justice cannot take root amid rage. America must get to work.” ― Thurgood Marshall

20. “Truth is more than a mental exercise.” ― Thurgood Marshall

21. “Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.” ― Thurgood Marshall

22. “Surely the fact that a uniformed police officer is wearing his hair below his collar will make him no less identifiable as a policeman.” ― Thurgood Marshall

23. “You do what you think is right and let the law catch up.” ― Thurgood Marshall

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