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Movie director hopes teens will see themselves in Justice Thurgood Marshall’s story

October 17, 2017

Movie director hopes teens will see themselves in Justice Thurgood Marshall’s story

 #9 News Story of 2017


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Read the story highlights, watch the video and then answer the discussion questions.
  1. Before Thurgood Marshall became the first African American to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967, he moved from town to town as part of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) to represent black defendants in a justice system rife with discrimination.
  2. The movie “Marshall,” which captures the iconic judge in his youth, is out in theaters now. Watch the trailer here. (Be sure to preview.)
  3. Marshall loved sarcasm and was a rock ‘n’ roll type of guy, said director Reginald Hudlin. “What I really love is that young people in particular see this depiction of this period of his life, and they go, oh, he’s that kind of guy,” Hudlin said, adding, “And then they say, well, I could be that. I could be a flawed guy who does the right thing.
  4. Before sitting on the bench, Marshall successfully argued several cases before the Supreme Court, including Brown v. Board of Education, which outlawed racial segregation in schools.

Discussion questions

  1. Essential questionWhat does it mean for a person to have a sense of justice for others?
  2. What do you know about the NAACP? If you are unsure, how could you find out?
  3. What events do you think Hudlin was referring to when he said echoes of past and present are inevitable in the film?
  4. Media literacy: Hudlin said his goal was to make a movie of a man making a difference. What further research could you do in order to find out more about Thurgood Marshall’s career and life?

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.


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