Brown v. Board of Education

Today, Saturday, May 17th 2014, marks the 60th Anniversary of the Supreme Court’s unanimous Brown v. Board of Education (of Topeka) ruling to end de jure (legal) racial segregation. Leading the charge to fight for equal protection under the law and challenge the precedent of “separate but equal” established in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) was Thurgood Marshall (b.1908 – d.1993) a Civil Rights Pioneer, Presidential Medal of Freedom Awardee and, in 1967, the first African-American Justice of the Supreme Court.  A decade later, the Court’s decision was translated into the enforcement of both the Voting Rights and Civil Rights Acts.

“In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.” — Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall

Early in 2014 and in honor of the 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board, Monique Walton and I created a living history –education, art and fitness– project called the Legacy Workout. One of our sources of inspiration was Justice Thurgood Marshall and his movement to secure a better future for all. Each physical movement within our project was choreographed to reflect a person, a people, or a point in time — an era. Thus, each physical movement was curated to spur a mental movement. Each physical and mental movement expressed concurrently to help inspire a MOVEment based movement. We do hope that you reflect on this day and the nuanced meanings of activism.

Enter Lateral Raises whose anatomical focus is the shoulder(s), one of the most mobile joints in the human body. Its range of motion makes the shoulder responsible for important functional movements —pushing, pulling and lifting— but also makes it highly unstable. But upon some shoulders balances the weight of the world as was the case with our contemporary Titan, Thurgood Marshall who stood at the borders of mobility and stability. His scales of justice helped to engineer one of the greatest social transformations in American history. Stand that ground.

Get it in where you can fit it in! –Andia

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