|Background on NAACP||Thurgood Marshall & the FBI||Military Desegregation|
|Chambers v. Florida(1940)||Smith v. Allwright(1943)||Shelley v. Kraemer(1947)||Sipuel v. Univ. of Oklahoma(1948)||Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954)|
Thurgood Marshall & the FBI
During World War II, Communism reached its peak in America at over 80,000
members. Although these numbers had fallen to about 30,000 by
the 1950s, the suspicion about disloyalty had grown. The FBI had paid informers
inside the NAACP and inside every other program working for
change in the United States at the time, and from 1956 to 1959, Thurgood
Marshall was one of them.
Unlike many other informants, Marshall did not work with the FBI for any personal benefit. In fact, he had always been an outspoken critic of the FBI and of its leader at the time, J. Edgar Hoover. But he was also very anti-Communist. In the 1930s and 1940s there had been a large disagreement between the Communists and the NAACP about who would represent African-Americans on the civil rights battle scene, and there was concern that the Communist Party would try to take over the NAACP. Even as he felt that assisting the FBI “undermined his goals,”1 he evidently felt that the safety of the NAACP was more important.
1 Author not available, Justice Marshall’s Most Memorable Case Reviewed., All Things Considered (NPR) 01-25-1993