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HomeSpotlight on Ethnic MediaCecilia ‘Cissy’ Marshall, Widow of Thurgood Marshall, Dies at 94

Cecilia ‘Cissy’ Marshall, Widow of Thurgood Marshall, Dies at 94

Marshall worked on school desegregation cases for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund for seven years.

Cecilia “Cissy” Marshall, a former NAACP legal secretary and widow of Thurgood Marshall, the first Black justice to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, died Nov. 22. She was with her family when she passed away in Falls Church, Virginia, at the age of 94.

Cecilia “Cissy” Suyat, was born in Maui to immigrant parents. Her father sent her to New York to live with relatives because he objected to her marrying a man whose family spoke a different Filipino dialect.

‘My Dark Skin’

While in New York and a student at Columbia University, she enrolled in evening courses to become a court stenographer. She told The Washington Post that an employment center agent saw “my dark skin and she sent me to the national office of the NAACP.” She worked on school desegregation cases for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund for seven years.


As the senior attorney for the NAACP in Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark decision that forbade racial segregation in American public schools, Thurgood Marshall won at the Supreme Court in May 1954. He was devastated as his first wife, Vivian “Buster” Burey, suffered with lung cancer, eventually dying in February 1955.

Read more at The Washington Informer: https://www.washingtoninformer.com/cecilia-cissy-marshall-widow-of-thurgood-marshall-dies-at-94/

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