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Marshall Calls N.A.A.C.P. Work Vital to Desegregation of Schools


Thurgood Marshall, Special Counsel to the N.A.A.C.P., last night called upon President Eisenhower to put his full weight behind a strong Congressional civil rights program. "The actions of Congress are not his fault, but I do blame him for not speaking out," he said.

The distinguished constiutional lawyer, who successfully argued for the desegregation of the public schools before the Supreme Court, spoke to the Harvard Student's Bar Association at Ames Court Room.

Marshall, discussing the blocks against effectiveness of the Supreme Court decision, said that the greatest problem was to "raise up enough individuals who are not afraid to do what is right."

"Any social change in a large area is a slow, tough process. But when it becomes insurmountable, the basic structure of democracy has collapsed," he said.

Marshall cautioned that the southern states might carry out their threats to close the public schools. "If they do, we'll be back in court, but we will not resort to violence."

Defending the work of his organization, Marshall said that "if the N.A.A.C.P. got out of the picture now, desegregation would not move one single iota."

"The question now is how long the citizens of the South can allow themselves to be pushed around." he continued, pointing out that members of the faculties of eight southern state universities must submit their lecture notes to the state legislature for approval.

Marshall said that efforts toward integration are made more difficult by the "subconsciously accepted feeling that the Negro is a little bit inferior."

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