Mayor Scott Unveils Thurgood Marshall Portrait in City Hall
Portrait to be on display in City Hall until June 2024
BALTIMORE, MD. (Thursday, July 6, 2023) – Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott was joined by Senior Advisor of Art & Culture Tonya Miller, former Union Baptist Church Pastor and President/CEO of Beloved Community Services Corporation, Dr. Alvin Hathaway, Contemporary Artist and Muralist Ernest Shaw, Jr.Spoken Word Artist Eze Jackson, LaRian Finney, representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Equity and Civil Rights, and city leaders to unveil a portrait in Baltimore City Hall commemorating the life of esteemed Baltimorean and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in celebration of his 115th birthday .
“The impact that Baltimore’s native son, Thurgood Marshall, made on our city and our nation transcends race, age, and time. His relentless pursuit of justice serves not only as an inspiration to me, but to every person who knows his story,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “As we celebrate his 115th birthday, this portrait will light up City Hall with his spirit of service, sacrifice, and justice. Once it’s honored time here comes to an end next year, the portrait will become a permanent fixture in the Thurgood Marshall Amenity Center, a place dedicated to honoring Justice Marshall by serving communities in West Baltimore.”
The portrait will be on display in City Hall until June 2024, after which it will be installed in its permanent home at the Thurgood Marshall Amenity Center in West Baltimore’s Upton neighborhood. The Amenity Center resides on the same site as PS 103 Elementary school, where Thurgood Marshall’s academic prowess and love of knowledge was first cultivated during his time as a student there between 1914 – 1921.
“Thurgood Marshall was an exceptional litigator who utilized his legal expertise to break down the barriers of segregation,” said Tonya Miller Hall. “He was a prominent public figure who not only represented his hometown of Baltimore but the entire nation. It is a great privilege for us to have his portrait on view at City Hall.”
The 150-year-old building is currently undergoing renovations led by Union Baptist Church Pastor Dr. Alvin Hathaway, who commissioned renowned artist Ernest Shaw to create the portrait.
“Justice Thurgood Marshall should be to Baltimore as Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. is to Atlanta,” said President/CEO of Beloved Community Services Corporation Dr. Alvin Hathaway. “As someone who dedicated their lives to dismantling racism and uplifting the Black community, especially in Baltimore, it is only right that we honor him in this way for his 115th birthday.”
Thurgood Marshall was a native son of West Baltimore. Marshall served as chief legal counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and was instrumental in dismantling segregation in education through the landmark case Brown v. The Board of Education. He was later cemented in Black history when he was appointed as the first African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
«It is a blessing and an honor to be given the opportunity to honor the ancestors with the gift of image making,» said Contemporary Artist & Muralist Ernest Shaw, Jr. “It is important that we continually pay homage to those who dedicated their lives to fighting for justice and equality for Blacks. Thurgood Marshall paved the way for so many of us and I am truly honored to have been asked to create something in commemoration of such a prominent figure in Baltimore’s Black history.”
Prominently displaying Thurgood Marshall’s portrait is a celebration of the invaluable role that he played in shaping our community and inspiring future generations.