Thurgood Marshall's Coming!

Winner of the ABA 2005 Silver Gavel Honorable Mention Award in Theatre!

May 17, 2004 marked the 50th Anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v.Board of Education of Topeka, KS, which legally ended racial segregation in the public schools in the United States. The lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the cases that are now known as "Brown," was Thurgood Marshall, a passionate and embattled civil rights lawyer. Thurgood Marshall is one of the giant figures in the history of American jurisprudence. He was born into poverty and grew up in the Jim Crow racism of the early twentieth century. He was the first African American to serve as Solicitor General of the United States and went on to become the first African American to serve as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Some called Marshall "Mr. Civil Rights," but he never wanted to be known as a "civil rights leader." He saw the law as the arena where minorities and oppressed citizens could find relief and he wanted to be known first, last and always as a lawyer. He was a powerful, resourceful and successful advocate for individual human and civil rights and continues to serve as a model for tenacity in the face of overwhelming odds.

Thurgood Marshall's Coming!, featuring T. Mychael Rambo as Marshall, is a full-length play that portrays Marshall as an old man as he ruminates and relives past trials and victories. The play uses Marshall's mastery of language, storytelling and imitation to create a powerful solo presentation. He is direct without being too blunt or rude and he "tells it like it is," without prevarication. His sense of humor and equanimity counteract some of the bitterness he felt in his long journey. His legal arguments and masterful rhetorical style are at once evocative and entertaining. Using Marshall's own writings and reflections, the play explores racism and civil rights issues and provides an engaging tool to facilitate audience discussion.

The American Bar Association selected Thurgood Marshall's Coming!, produced by Periaktos Productions, to receive an Honorable Mention Award in Theater for the 2005 Silver Gavel Awards Competition for Media and the Arts. (Thurgood Marshall's Coming! Silver Gavel Award PDF)

Thurgood Marshall's Coming!, presented with a post-performance discussion, has been approved for CLE credit (including Ethics, Professionalism and Elimination of Bias credit) in the states where it has been offered. CLE materials are provided and credit varies from 2.5 to 3.5 hours, depending on individual state requirements. Please contact if you have questions about CLE credit.

Thurgood Marshall's Coming!
© 2004 - 2007, Anna Marie and Graham Thatcher

For Booking Information Contact:
Anna Marie Thatcher, J.D.
Managing Producer
(605) 787-7099

2005 Silver Gavel Honorable Mention Award symbol by the American Bar Association Division for Public Education, 2005. © 2005 by the American Bar Association. Reprinted with permission.

What Your Colleagues Are Saying...

  • "I loved it! Thurgood Marshall's Coming! captures the spirit of the man and the Justice perfectly in presenting his remarkable personal courage and insight in troubled times. T.Mychael Rambo truly transforms himself into Thurgood Marshall, making the play like spending an evening with a Civil Rights Legend."
    (Bruce Allen Murphy, Professor of Civil Rights, Lafayette College, Easton, PA and Author of Wild Bill: The Legend and Life of William O. Douglas)

  • "The play was far more than entertainment and I will always remember it and its lessons. Every lawyer who sees the play should feel challenged to do as Marshall did - "find what is wrong and make it right," through the use of the law and our lawyering skills. This is the highest calling of our profession. Please continue to bring exciting and enlightening offerings to us."
    (Henry P. Van Hoy, II, Past President, NC Bar Association)

  • "The production was outstanding and did much to underscore the challenges we still face as a nation and people . . . [It] is a vivid reminder of the intended role of the law - justice, fairly applied."
    (Phillip Miner, Liaison for Community Initiative, Minnesota Private College Foundation)

  • "One of our best [Kentucky Bar] CLE efforts ever. It was a smashing success!"
    (Janice Clark, CLE Director, Kentucky Bar Association)

  • "This is the most thought-provoking program I have ever had the privilege to attend . . . "
    (Attorney, Philadelphia, PA)

  • "Entertaining and inspiring!"
    (Attorney, Philadelphia, PA)

  • "Creative education!"
    (Attorney, Philadelphia, PA)

  • "Just simply excellent!"
    (Attorney, Pittsburgh, PA)

  • "Best, most interesting CLE ever!"
    (Attorney, Pittsburgh, PA)

  • "This CLE was outstanding!"
    (Attorney, Pittsburgh, PA)

  • "Superb presentation, wonderfully written and beautifully acted. This brought Justice Marshall alive for me."
    (Attorney, Philadelphia, PA)

  • "I wish all CLE courses would be this entertaining and interesting."
    (Attorney, St. Paul, MN)

  • "One of the best CLEs I've ever attended!"
    (Attorney, St. Paul, MN)