'Full Truth' Honors U.S Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall
By Clarese Alexander
Bowie State University's Department of Fine and Performing Arts in collaboration with the Elder Theodore L. Barber Scholarship Foundation, Inc., presented a staged reading "Full Truth." This scholarly production was presented Feb. 25 in Samuel Myers Auditorium in the MLK Building.
The play featured a prominent cast of Maryland's legal scholars including Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert Bell and other well-known judges from the Maryland and Washington D.C. areas. "Full Truth," was based on the life of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and the obstacles leading up to the historic landmark case Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, which declared separate learning facilities for blacks and whites unconstitutional, on the basis that it denied black children equal educational opportunities.
The highly distinguished 2010 Stellar Award- winning Oxon Hill High School Choir gave an exuberant performance that set the atmosphere before a packed audience. Bowie State University scholarship recipients of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund and the Elder Theodore L. Barber Scholarship Foundation were also in attendance and given special recognition. Former Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend presented memorable and inspirational opening remarks before the show began and received a standing ovation. "Full Truth" was written and directed by District of Columbia Administrative Law Judge Paul Handy. Having an interest in playwriting since he was a college student, Handy spent two years researching Marshall before seeing his production come to life on stage.
Bell embraced the role of Marshall. Brown played the role of Spottswood Robinson, Marshall's colleague. Prince George's County judges Thurman Rhodes and Larnzell Martin portrayed Robert Carter and Walter White, also colleagues of Marshall. Prince George's County Circuit Court Judge Sheila Tillerson-Adams gracefully played the role of Buster, Marshall's first wife. U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Gauvey from the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland portrayed a University of Maryland admissions officer who denied Marshall admission to its law school in 1930. Prince George's County Circuit Court Judge Albert Northrop played the voice of the Supreme Court and District of Columbia Administrative Law Judge Nicholas Cobbs took on the role of John Davis, Marshall's opposing counsel in the Brown v. Board of Education case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954. This stage performance of "Full Truth" was as educational, as inspirational, and indeed impressionable.
Following the performance was a meet-and-greet session with the cast and a reception, which was held in the atrium of the auditorium. Proceeds from the play were donated to the scholarship foundation for Bowie State University.