This chapter details events following Marshall's appointment to the Supreme Court. As a Supreme Court justice, Marshall worked on the problem of race in America. His life's focus became undoing the constitutional embodiment of Jim Crow, surely one of the impediments to equality. However, moving the nation toward a fuller vision of racial justice in the 1960s required other tools than those Marshall possessed, and this required a deeper commitment from a broader political coalition. What had once seemed possible was out of reach by 1968. A nation torn apart over war and divided over domestic politics was not to be united around the vision of its 1960s leaders. It was a cruel irony that in shining a light on the cities, the Kerner Commission Report seemed a reverse echo of Brown: “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.”
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