A friend and colleague of Thurgood Marshall, civil rights lawyer Jack Greenberg is to be honored on Oct. 27 in New York by the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund with a lifetime achievement award named for the late justice. The award comes 45 years after the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, on which Mr. Greenberg worked as an assistant counsel under then-Director-Counsel Marshall. Mr. Greenberg went on to run the defense fund for 23 years, helping expand desegregation to parks, beaches and public transportation. But in recent years, Brown and its progeny in the education arena have come under attack. Now a professor at Columbia Law School, Mr. Greenberg recently spoke with The National Law Journal’s David E. Rovella.

NLJ: How do you see the state of civil rights in America today, compared with 1954?

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