Birch Eulogized as ‘Tennessee’s Thurgood Marshall’

In the days after his father’s death, Adolpho A. Birch III has been overwhelmed by the countless stories people have told him about the towering man with the signature white beard, reports the Tennessean.
He was dear to many — judges, lawyers, politicians — who shared stories about the first African-American chief justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court. But others who crossed paths with the elder Birch had fond memories as well, from the man who delivered his mail, to the department store clerk to Kelvin, who peddles the homeless newspaper The Contributor at West End and Bowling avenues.
… Adolpho A. Birch Jr. died of cancer Thursday at a local hospital. He was 78.
Along with his son, Tuesday evening’s 45-minute tribute featured speeches from Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Cornelia A. Clark, lawyer and longtime family friend Nancy A. Vincent, First Amendment Center founder and former Tennessean editor and publisher John Seigenthaler, and Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.
“He left a very simple equation: Value your education. Live your faith. Be sincere. Be kind. And remember, every person matters,” Dean said. “… I agree wholeheartedly that he was Tennessee’s Thurgood Marshall. Justice Birch made the world a better place, a fairer place, a more equal place.”

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