October EBONY cover star Chadwick Boseman stars in new legal thriller Marshall as the young NAACP attorney determined to represent innocent African-Americans throughout the country in the 1940s.
The film finds a young Thurgood Marshall, 12 years before the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision, defending Black chauffeur Joseph Spell (Sterling K. Brown), who has been accused of raping and attempting to murder a White socialite.
Along with the reluctant help of co-counsel Sam Friedman (Josh Gad), ordered to speak for Marshall throughout the entire trial, the pair defend Spell and face their own personal battles in the process.
Here are five reasons Marshall should be essential viewing this fall.
It depicts the icon as a young attorney: While most of us recognize Thurgood Marshall as the first African-American Supreme Court justice, Marshall allows viewers to understand the early cases that shaped his monumental career.
Boseman is a force: Critiques that Boseman doesn’t look enough like the legendary attorney and justice become null and void after witnessing the actor embody yet another real-life superhero.
The racial implications remain relevant: Marshall defends Spell, who is accused of raping and attempting to kill the wife of his White employer. Unfortunately, this speaks to America’s deadly history of White women falsely accusing African-American men of similar heinous crimes.
Sam Friedman deserves recognition: Marshall’s co-counsel, Sam Friedman, faces harassment and discrimination as a Jewish attorney representing a Black client. Yet, he still works diligently under Marshall’s guidance to defend Spell, despite his own experiences with anti-Semitism.
It’s an excellent courtroom drama: Historical context aside, the film boasts a compelling narrative and unexpected revelations that will keep your eyes glued to the screen.
Marshall hits theaters Friday, Oct. 13.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.