Library to screen 'Marshall' for Black History Month

The Bryan Public Library will show 'Marshall' at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, in celebration of Black History Month.
Staff Writer

In celebration of Black History Month, the Bryan Public Library will provide a special showing of "Marshall," a film about Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and the famous Spell Case, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The movie will be shown at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, at the Bryan Public Library, The showing is free and open to the public ages 18 and up.

"This will be our first presentation," said resource librarian Priscilla Ivy. "We want to show a different movie that is based on a work of literature each month. But the first one is during Black History Month, so we chose 'Marshall.’ We hope everyone will come and join us to sit down together and watch as a community."

Ivy said Marshall is such an important person historically, being the first African-American U.S. Supreme Court Justice and a civil rights advocate.

"This particular movie was chosen because it deals with issues that not only go on in the south, but in the north, as well," Ivy said. "Prejudice and racism go on everywhere. They just didn't want to admit it as much in the northern states."

But people did better themselves by moving north, they could find employment other than working in the fields or as a domestic. But regardless African American people still faced prejudice, Ivy said.

"As a librarian, I hope this will make people want to learn more about Thurgood Marshall," Ivy said. "We are wanting the showing to be for ages 18 and up because of the mature language. We want people who are old enough to process what the words mean, and how they are used."

Ivy said literature on the Spell Case will be provided to everyone who attends.

"Thurgood Marshall did not only have a law degree," Ivy said. "He held a degree in the humanities, as well. He started with the humanities and then made the decision to study law."

Ivy said the movie is set in 1940, where Marshall is an NAACP lawyer traveling the country defending people of color who are wrongly accused of crimes because of racial prejudice. He returns to his New York office, and is sent to Bridgeport, Connecticut, to defend Joseph Spell.

"Joseph Spell is a chauffeur accused of rape by his white employer, Eleanor Strubing," Ivy said. "It is a case that has been sensationalized by the newspapers."

It is a gripping story about using the law and the court system to get to the truth.

"It stars Chadwick Boseman as Thurgood Marshall," Ivy said. "It is a recent film and the lead actor is also the star of ‘Black Panther,’ the latest superhero movie based on a character from Marvel."