Cecilia “Cissy” Marshall, widow of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, has died. She was 94.
Remembered as an historian and civil rights activist, Cecilia Suyat Marshall, a Filipino born in Hawaii, came to the United States in 1948. She was a former NAACP legal secretary.
In a statement released by the NAACP, it read: During her time with the Association, she worked on a variety of cases including the Groveland Four case and the landmark Brown v. Board of Education. It was at the Association that she met and ultimately married Justice Marshall in 1955 and during their wedding ceremony was given away by NAACP leader Roy Wilkins.
In a 2013 interview, Marshall was asked about her impression of race growing up in Hawaii. “I really didn’t have any idea at all, because I went to school with different nationalities, Japanese, Filipino, Chinese, and I think there was only one Negro family in the whole section where I was,” she said. She described her move to New York as the moment she learned about “the racial problem.”
“I remember segregation very well. You couldn’t go to different places. You couldn’t sit in any place. I just wish Thurgood were here… to see his work and the work of his lawyers.”
We remember Marshall as a staunch advocate for civil rights, who was committed to safeguarding the reputation and legacy of her late husband.
Rest in Power.