ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. - The New York Senate has passed a bill that will rename an I-287 interchange in Rockland County after a prominent African American attorney and Supreme Court Justice.
On Tuesday, the Senate passed legislation sponsored by Sen. David Carlucci, which will rename the New York State Thruway and I-287 Interchange in Hillburn the “Thurgood Marshall Interchange.”
In 1943, Marshall, working as an NCAAP attorney became involved over an issue regarding whether black and white children should be segregated in Rockland County schools. According to officials, his cause came more than a decade before the historic Brown v. Board of Education case in Kansas, which “ended the so-called Jim Crow laws in the United States.”
The State Board of Education ultimately decreed that black children could attend the “Main School,” making New York one of the first states to integrate its schools. Hillburn is the first place that a 1938 law overturning Jim Crow laws in education was tested and upheld.
"Thurgood Marshall championed the most important premises of democratic government -- freedom, equality and justice for all and he did it right in our backyard,” Carlucci said in a statement.
“Marshall's efforts in Hillburn and his lifetime achievements thereafter, ultimately resulting in his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, should be recognized in Rockland County to a much greater extent than is presently the case. Passing this legislation will cement our community as a place in time that was vital to the fabric of who we are as a nation.”
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