Thurgood Marshall Receiving NAACP Lifetime Membership Plaque from Carl Murphy

Thurgood Marshall Receiving NAACP Plaque from Carl Murphy, ca. 1956. Paul Henderson, HEN.00.A2-148.

Thurgood Marshall Receiving NAACP Plaque from Carl Murphy, ca. 1956. Paul Henderson, HEN.00.A2-148.

Before Baltimore native Thurgood Marshall (1908–1993) became the first African American U.S. Supreme Court justice, he was a lawyer directing legal operations for the NAACP from 1940 to 1961. Known for many of his great accomplishments during the struggle for civil rights, his most noted are the Murray v. Pearson (1936) and Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954). In the former case, Marshall, along with Charles Hamilton Houston broke the walls of segregation in 1935 when they secured the admission of Donald Gaines Murray to the University of Maryland School of Law, which before then denied admission to blacks. The former and most well-known Marshall case was a landmark decision that decreed separate public schools for black and white students was unconstitutional in 1954.

Image information:

Thurgood Marshall receiving NAACP lifetime membership plaque from Carl Murphy [editor of the Afro-American newspaper]
Baltimore, Maryland
circa 1956
4 in. x 5 in. acetate negative
Paul Henderson Photograph Collection, HEN.00.A2-148
Maryland Historical Society

NAACP Membership Registration Campaign meeting

NAACP meeting. Paul Henderson. MdHS, HEN.00.A2-147.

NAACP meeting. Paul Henderson. MdHS, HEN.00.A2-147.

Founded in 1912, the Baltimore Branch of the NAACP is the second oldest in the country. In response to legal segregation in education, housing, and employment, Dr. Carl Murphy, editor of the Afro-American newspaper, called a meeting with fourteen community leaders in 1935 in an effort to revitalize the branch. Dr. Lillie May Carroll Jackson was one of the fourteen and from then until 1970, she would be president of the Baltimore Branch. The association’s membership in 1965 totaled 440,538 in 1,642 branches throughout the U.S.

Image information:

NAACP Membership Registration Campaign meeting
Baltimore, Maryland
October 1948
4 in. x 5 in. acetate negative
Paul Henderson Photograph Collection, HEN.00.A2-147
Maryland Historical Society

Sewing, cleaning, and pressing class at Carver Vocational School

Sewing, cleaning, and pressing class at Carver Vocational School. Paul Henderson. MdHS, HEN.01.05-025.

Sewing, cleaning, and pressing class at Carver Vocational School. Paul Henderson. MdHS, HEN.01.05-025.

Established circa 1925, George Washington Carver Vocational [Technical] High School was the first vocational center established in Baltimore that was open to black students.

Image information:

Sewing, cleaning, and pressing class at Carver Vocational School
1200-1216 West Lafayette Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland
October 1949
Paul Henderson, 1899-1988
4 in. x 5 in. acetate negative
Paul Henderson Photograph Collection, HEN.01.05-025
Maryland Historical Society

1200 West Lafayette Avenue via Google Maps:

Group portrait [NAACP lawyers with Esther McCready and others]

Group portrait [NAACP lawyers with Esther McCready and others], 1950. Paul Henderson, HEN.02.07-019.

Group portrait [NAACP lawyers with Esther McCready and others], 1950. Paul Henderson, HEN.02.07-019.

Although fully qualified, Esther McCready (third from left) was denied admission to the University of Maryland School of Nursing solely because of her skin color. Seen here with her attorneys, Thurgood Marshall (fourth from left) and Donald Gaines Murray (second from right), McCready sued the university for admission based on the argument that she was not provided “equal protection under the law” (McCready v. Byrd, 1949) and forced to pursue her education out-of-state where blacks were accepted while her white counterparts were being trained in state. On April 14, 1950, the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled in McCready’s favor. Also pictured: Parren Mitchell (far right).

Image information:

Group portrait [NAACP lawyers with Esther McCready and others]
1950
Paul Henderson, 1899-1988
4 in. x 5 in. acetate negative
Paul Henderson Photograph Collection, HEN.02.07-019
Maryland Historical Society

Ms. McCready was a special guest at the program that accompanied the Paul Henderson exhibition opening (February 23, 2012):

Esther McCready (third from left) speaking about her experience at the panel discussion, Seen & Heard: Maryland's Civil Rights Era in Photographs and Oral Histories.

Esther McCready (third from left) speaking about her experience at the panel discussion, Seen & Heard: Maryland’s Civil Rights Era in Photographs and Oral Histories.

The Charm Centre

The Charm Centre, 1948. Paul Henderson, MdHS, HEN.00.B2-164.

The Charm Centre, 1948. Paul Henderson, MdHS, HEN.00.B2-164.

The owners of this upscale women’s dress store, William “Little Willie” Lloyd Adams and wife Victorine Quille Adams, had impressive resumes that contributed to the civil rights struggle. Willie Adams, multi-million dollar illegal lotteries operator turned legitimate businessman, funded aspiring black entrepreneurs during a time when banks would not lend to blacks. He also funded desegregation lawsuits. Victorine Adams was a highly regarded woman for both her poise and political accomplishment. In 1946, she directed the “Register-to-Vote” campaign which resulted in thousands of new voters. She was the first elected woman of any race to be appointed to the Baltimore City Council in 1967.

Image information:

The Charm Centre

1811 Pennsylvania Avenue, Baltimore
September 1948
4 in. x 5 in. acetate negative
Paul Henderson Photograph Collection, HEN.00.B2-164

Google Maps Street View of 1811 Pennsylvania Avenue today:

Sources:
Diminutive Mrs. Adams received ‘giant’ tribute. (May 10, 1958). Afro-American newspaper.
Smith, F. (2008). Here Lies Jim Crow: Civil Rights in Maryland. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Pietila, A. (2010). Not in My Neighborhood:  How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City. Ivan R. Dee, Publisher.

 

Bayard Rustin

Mrs. Bowen Jackson and Bayard Rustin protesting Ford's Theatre. Paul Henderson, MdHS, HEN.00.A2-155.

Mrs. Bowen Jackson and Bayard Rustin protesting Ford’s Theatre. Paul Henderson. MdHS, HEN.00.A2-155.

Henderson photographed Bayard Rustin when he was in Baltimore protesting the Jim Crow admission policy at Ford’s Theatre. The protest lasted six years and attracted Civil Rights advocates such as Rustin and Paul Robeson, as seen in other Henderson photographs.

Bayard is mostly recognized for organizing the 1963 March on Washington and being a close advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr. Not only was Rustin fighting for his rights as an African American in America, but he was also fighting for his right to live an openly gay lifestyle. To find out more about Rustin, visit the site of a documentary on Rustin at Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin at rustin.org. There is a great trailer for the documentary on the home page.

A cropped version of Henderson’s photograph ran in the Afro-American newspaper on October 29, 1949 with the following caption:
Bayard Rustin, who spent 22 days on the North Carolina chain gang for refusal to obey the jim crow travel laws, is shown as he joined the NAACP picket line at Ford’s Theatre, last week, in protest of its policy of segregation. This is the fourth season of the NAACP’s picketing in Baltimore. Shown left to right, are Mrs. Bowen Jackson and Mr. Rustin. 

The FBI investigated Rustin for his alleged ties to the Communist Party. The documents can be viewed through the FBI Records Vault. FBI documents on other Civil Rights activists can also be viewed.

Dr. Lillie May Carroll Jackson

Jackson and Mitchell Family. Paul Henderson. MdHS, HEN.00.B1-052

This family has contributed a significant amount to the Civil Rights movement and the history of Baltimore. Keiffer Jackson (seated left), traveling church entertainer was husband of Dr. Lillie May Carroll Jackson (seated far right), President of the Baltimore Branch NAACP from 1935 to 1970. Their daughters Juanita Jackson Mitchell (seated second from left), the first black woman to practice law in Maryland, and Virginia Jackson Kiah (seated second from right) worked together to create the City-Wide Young People’s Forum. Virginia was also a well-known artist. Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. (standing center), after whom the Baltimore City Courthouse is named, reported for the Afro-American newspaper before moving on to become an NAACP lobbyist in Washington, D.C. [Image: Jackson and Mitchell Family, not dated, Maryland Historical Society, HEN.00.B1-052.]

PHOTOGRAPHS AND AUDIO CLIP: Vernon Dobson speaking about Dr. Lillie May Carroll Jackson (McKeldin-Jackson Oral History Project, OH 8131)

Transcript:

Getting back to Dr. Jackson… understand the continuity of history, I would say that the thing that I think makes her leadership important in the Civil Rights Movement in Baltimore is that she made this a religion onto itself, this whole matter of civil rights. 

Wherever it was necessary for us to have a spokesman, she was that person. Our spokesperson. 

And wherever she felt the necessity for making some kind of appeal for equal rights and justice under the law, she did it. 

And many times, at a personal sacrifice. 

Largely [?] later on, the NAACP started getting funds from the churches so they were undergirded by church funds and that kind of a thing later on. 

Even then, she had to have the personal magnetism and persuasion to get church to give and to support. 

I used to always enjoy her coming to a large church meeting and just having her personality take over. 

Everybody would… any presiding officer would always use as a measure of his success to preside his ability to keep her down to… limit her to two minutes or three minutes and she would come in with a glimmer in her eye and look at him and say, “Young man,” he could be sixty, seventy years old, “Young man, you just got here. I’ve been in this struggle all these years.”

And then she’d go on to push him aside with a verbal barrage that would just reduce him to nothing and then would go on to make an appeal and it would always last fifteen, twenty minutes.