Spencer Crew has worked at museums as well as universities over the past twenty-five years. The Clarence J. Robinson Professor of American, African American, and Public History at George Mason University, he is the former director of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and the former president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. His primary area of research interest is African American history, and he has created exhibitions and written on both the Underground Railroad and the migration of African Americans to the North during and after World War I. Crew is currently serving as interim director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Thurgood Marshall in the course of his career helped change the way the country thought about and created laws connected to civil rights. The story of his early career is often eclipsed by his role as Supreme Court Justice. However, the days before the Supreme Court possibly had even more impact. That part of his career will will be the primary focus of this lecture.