skip to Main Content

Free preview of 'Marshall' brings son and screenwriter to speak about civil rights legacy

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Beverly Creamer, (808) 389-5736
Media Consultant, William S. Richardson School of Law
Posted: Sep 8, 2017

John W. Marshall
John W. Marshall

John W. Marshall, son of the legendary Thurgood Marshall, and Michael Koskoff, who co-wrote the screenplay for the upcoming motion picture “Marshall,” will discuss the civil rights legacy of the first African-American Supreme Court associate justice during a free public lunchtime lecture on Thursday, September 14, at the UH Law School.

Marshall is a sought-after speaker on criminal justice, civil rights, and his father’s life and legacy; Koskoff and his son wrote the film’s screenplay that explores an early courtroom drama over issues of race, sexual assault and equal justice.

Attorney Mark Davis will moderate the September 14 program, “Thurgood Marshall: A life in the law, a legacy of jurisprudence,” at the William S. Richardson School of Law from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Classroom 2.  A free pizza lunch is included.

The Distinguished Lecture is part of the Davis Levin 1st Amendment Conference sponsored by the ACLU that is also bringing a free screening of “Marshall” to the Dole Cannery Regal Theaters that same day at 6 p.m.

Tickets to the film screening are sold out, but 10 pairs of tickets for the screening that evening will be available at the Law School lecture on a first-come, first-served basis.

Acting Law Dean Melody MacKenzie '76 recommended the lecture to law students and other students, saying it offered a unique opportunity to better understand defining moments in American history.

“Thurgood Marshall was a ground-breaking jurist whose legacy cannot be underestimated,” said MacKenzie. “We are privileged to have a role in hosting this lecture so that our students may better understand and learn from this important history. The Davis Levin 1st Amendment Conference is always relevant, but more so in these days where the civil rights of so many are at stake and we all must speak out to protect those rights.”

Following the evening screening, there will be a “talkback” with Marshall, who became the first African-American director of the U.S. Marshalls Service, and Koskoff, who is an attorney, author, actor and nationally renowned litigator.

The movie chronicles one of Thurgood Marshall’s early courtroom battles when, as a young rabble-rousing attorney for the NAACP, he was called upon to defend a black chauffeur who had been accused of sexual assault and attempted murder by his white employer. Chadwick Boseman plays Marshall, Sterling K. Brown plays the chauffeur Joseph Spell, and Kate Hudson plays his accuser, Eleanor Strubing, a Greenwich, Connecticut socialite.

“Marshall” opens in theaters in October.

Said Kit Grant, ACLU deputy director, “The ACLU of Hawai‘i, through the Davis Levin 1st Amendment Conference, strives to bring compelling, sometimes controversial, viewpoints and world class speakers to the Hawai‘i stage in civil conversation. UH Mānoaʻs own Law School dean, Aviam Soifer, has expertly moderated the last two conferences.

“Past conference speakers have included Edward Snowden, Daniel Ellsberg, Kenneth Starr, Justice Antonin Scalia, Nadine Strossen, Ralph Reed and Jay Sekulow.  Conferences are complemented by distinguished lecture and film events. We are tremendously grateful to Michael Koskoff and John Marshall for sharing their time and expertise with us, and for sharing a rare advance screening of the new film about the early life and career of Thurgood Marshall.”  

For more information, visit: