By Elisabeth Brown

St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church will host its 2019 Thurgood Marshall Feast Day Celebration on Sunday, May 19, at 9:30 a.m. to commemorate the life and legacy of Justice Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993). In 2009, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church passed a resolution that Justice Marshall should be added to the Liturgical Calendar, and May 17, the anniversary of Justice Marshall’s historic Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, was designated as his feast day which was approved at the 2018 General Convention.

Justice Marshall’s widow, Cecelia “Cissy” Suyat Marshall, is a member of St. Augustine’s and serves on the Altar Guild. Marshall and his family attended the church prior to relocating to New York. Marshall founded the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in 1940, but is best known for his landmark ruling in the 1954 Supreme Court case of Brown vs. Board of Education that resulted in the desegregation of public schools. He was the first African American Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America, and a graduate of Howard University Law School.

Open to the public, the Feast Day guests will include Ms. Thomasina W. Yearwood, President, Thurgood Marshall Center Trust, Inc., reading the first lesson, and Professor Danielle Holley-Walker, Dean and Professor of Law at Howard University School of Law, reading the second lesson. Delivering the Homily will be Ms. Sherrilyn Ifill, a Law Professor and President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the seventh person to hold this position since Thurgood Marshall.

Musical interludes will be provided by Shirli Hughes and Ovation and following the service there will be a reception and tour of Thurgood Marshall Gallery, which features artifacts and pictures of Marshall’s life and legacy.

For additional information, contact Thelma D. Jones at or 202-251-1639.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.