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A Tale of Violence, Death and Justice

By JON WILSON, Consulting Editor, TB Reporter

A special program about Thurgood Marshall, who was once threatened with lynching before rising to the Supreme Court, is Feb. 12 at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club.

ST. PETERSBURG — Thurgood Marshall, who became America’s first black Supreme Court justice, was a remarkable man. The great-grandson of a slave argued the landmark case that ended the legal basis for segregation. But before he won historic legal victories and rose to the nation’s highest court, Marshall faced danger and death on the back roads of Florida.

His legacy and personal courage is the subject of a special program next month at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club. The program is sponsored by the St. Petersburg Branch of the Association for the Study of African Life and History.

Author Gilbert King wrote about Marshall in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Devil in the Grove. He also won a gold medal in the Florida Book Awards for 2012.

ASALH is bringing King to St. Petersburg to talk, in part, about Marshall’s role in events surrounding four young men known as “The Groveland Boys,” who were accused of raping a white woman in 1946. Two of the men were killed in a time and place in which white supremacists often resorted to deadly violence to enforce their codes. Marshall himself was nearly lynched.

King’s talk is 6 p.m. Feb. 12 at the  Yacht Club. Tickets are $50. You can mail payment with names and phone number to ASALH, PO Box 35504, St. Petersburg, 33705. ASALH would like ticket requests by Jan. 31. Call (727) 482-9572 for information.

St. Petersburg | Events | Speeches | Black History Month |  Gilbert King | TB Reporter

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