Cecilia Suyat Marshall

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Cecilia Suyat Marshall
Thurgood Marshall and family, 1965.png
Cecilia (left) along with Thurgood Marshall (right), and their sons in 1965
Cecilia Suyat

(1928-07-20)July 20, 1928
DiedNovember 22, 2022(2022-11-22) (aged 94)
OccupationCivil rights activist and historian
(m. 1955; died 1993)

Cecilia Suyat Marshall (July 20, 1928 – November 22, 2022) was an American civil rights activist and historian from Hawaii who was married to

stenographer and private secretary for the NAACP
in Washington, D.C.

Early life and career

Cecilia "Cissy" Suyat was born in Pu'unene, Maui, in Hawaii on July 20, 1928.[1] Her parents emigrated from the Philippines in 1910.[1] Her father owned a printing company and her mother died when she was young. She was raised in Hawaii with many siblings.[2]

Suyat moved to

stenographer and eventually became the private secretary of Dr. Gloster B. Current, the head of the NAACP, from 1948 to 1955. She played a role in the historic Brown v. Board of Education case.[4][5]


Suyat met

Harlem, New York. Visitors to their apartment included Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.[2][4]

Suyat and Marshall were the parents of

U.S. Marshals Service Director, and Thurgood Marshall Jr. Juan Williams reported Suyat worked extensively in Marshall's later years to keep his explosions of "frustration with the conservative court and what remained of the Civil Rights Movement" out of the public, afraid that they would embarrass him.[6]

Later life and death

Suyat spent her life preserving history and continued to fight for civil rights after her husband's death. She believed that there is still a long way to go.

Civil Rights Movement and record new interviews with people who participated in the social and political movement.[10]

Suyat attended the opening of a new school building for the Thurgood Marshall Academy for Learning and Social Change in New York City's Harlem neighborhood in 2004.[11]

Suyat died on November 22, 2022, at the age of 94 in Falls Church, Virginia.[12][13]


  1. ^ a b c "St. Augustine's Episcopal Church DC SW : Cecilia Marshall". www.staugustinesdc.org. Archived from the original on April 25, 2018. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "Cecilia Suyat Marshall oral history interview conducted by Emilye Crosby in Washington, D.C., 2013-06-30". The Library of Congress. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  3. ^ Hutchinson, Louise (November 26, 1966). "About Women in Washington". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 24, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^
    ISSN 0190-8286
    . Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  5. . Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  6. .
  7. ^ "On the Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, "Cissy" Marshall Laments Lack of Progress | Milwaukee Courier Weekly Newspaper". milwaukeecourieronline.com. May 27, 2017. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  8. ^ "Thurgood Marshall's Widow Keeps His Legacy Alive – Los Angeles Sentinel". Los Angeles Sentinel. May 11, 2017. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  9. ^ "2017: The Year in Review". washingtoninformer.com. The Washington Informer. December 27, 2017. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  10. ^ "Civil Rights History Project by Library of Congress on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  11. ^ "Jet". Johnson Publishing Company. February 23, 2004.
  12. ^ Barnes, Bart (November 22, 2022). "Cecilia 'Cissy' Marshall, keeper of Thurgood Marshall's legacy, dies at 94". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 22, 2022.
  13. ISSN 0190-8286
    . Retrieved November 24, 2022.