Jan. 24 marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Thurgood Marshall, the Baltimore-born civil rights lawyer and the first black Supreme Court justice, who was instrumental in ending Jim Crow segregation. At his death, the anti-discrimination proposals he championed had become an integral part of American law. Yet Justice Marshall’s goal of equal opportunity for racial minorities remains elusive. Socioeconomic disparities between blacks and whites are still alarming. Blacks are twice as likely to be poor or homeless, and more than twice as likely to be incarcerated. Blacks accumulate wealth at one-twentieth the rate of whites. The median wealth (assets minus debts) of black households is one-twentieth of that of white households. In the last few years, the gap has only widened.
Read Professor Michael Higginbotham’s op-ed in the Baltimore Sun .