Interview with Constance Baker Motley
QUESTION 68
INTERVIEWER:

YOU WERE GIVING ME A DESCRIPTION OF THURGOOD MARSHALL AS CHIEF OF THE ARMY…

Judge Constance Baker Motley:

Well. Thurgood Marshall, as you know, who's now on the Supreme Court was the director counsel of the legal defense fund at this time and he had the difficult job of keeping this army of lawyers and sociologists and historians and psychologists together during the period when we [ developing ] the main brief to be filed in the Supreme Court in the Brown case. And of course, everybody knows how lawyers are, they're all prima donnas, and uh, I think the thing that enabled Thurgood Marshall to keep this group together was his personality. He was the kind of person that would make anybody feel good no matter what his problem, what kind of day. He was very, always, gregarious, always telling jokes and uh, he praised everybody, no matter how bad their work was. He had this kind of way with dealing with people, to make them all feel that whatever it was they were doing, it was helping the cause. Because the people who came to us were people who were interested in civil rights, the people who did want to do something to remedy this problem. And he knew they were volunteering their services. They weren't paid. And so he made them feel that what ever it was they were doing he needed them and people respond to people who make them feel needed and appreciated. And I think that's what kept this group together, because it was important to keep this group of experts and lawyers together so that this brief could finally come together.