By Floyd McCluhan
For Black History Month, we’re highlighting the life and legacy of Thurgood Marshall.
On June 1, 2021, the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors unanimously voted to name Concord’s first regional park “Thurgood Marshall Regional Park – Home of the Port Chicago 50.”
Previously referred to as “Concord Hills Regional Park,” the more-than-2,500-acre park honors the life and legacy of the first Black Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall.
Marshall was appointed as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1967 to October 1991. Before he was a Justice, he argued major cases before the Supreme Court, such as Brown v. Board of Education, which led to school desegregation.
Early in his career, Marshall defended 50 African American sailors in court. They had been charged with mutiny following an explosion at Port Chicago that killed 320 men, mostly African American, and injured 390 more.
“The trial, and Marshall’s role in it, helped to play a role in the desegregation of the Armed Forces,” stated U.S. Representative Mark DeSaulnier. “As the first African American Supreme Court justice, Marshall is more than deserving of this honor [of having a park named after him].”
Learn More about Thurgood Marshall
A Legacy of Civil Rights: Port Chicago / Concord Hills (video)
Thurgood Marshall Regional Park – Home of the Port Chicago 50 (web page)
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Top photo: Thurgood Marshall in 1957; background photo of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station, part of which is now Thurgood Marshall Regional Park, by Stephen Joseph
Second photo: Thurgood Marshall courtesy of the Library of Congress / CC BY