Although there are still disparities and injustices in our society, we have recently experienced some significant milestones, especially when it comes to African American women in leadership positions within the federal government.
Michelle Obama will always be our first lady (FLOTUS), and we have Madam Vice President Kamala Harris, we also have Ventris C. Gibson, the first African American woman to serve as the Deputy Director for the United States Mint, and now we have Superior Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States.
Another very momentous occasion was the fact that Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black woman ever to hold that title, presided over the vote to confirm Jackson. Upon hearing that the senate had confirmed her to the high court in a 53-47 vote, she said, “It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States.”
She becomes only the second justice with a criminal defense background appointed to the nation’s highest court. The first justice with criminal defense background was Thurgood Marshall the first African American to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice.
Although Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has been confirmed, she will not be officially sworn in until this summer when her mentor, Justice Stephen Breyer, retires. Jackson previously clerked for Breyer, who has served as an associate justice for nearly 28 years. This will be the first time in our history where White men will not be the majority on the Supreme Court.
President Biden stated after the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson, “This is a moment of real change.” It’s a powerful thing, when people can see themselves in others. They say to “be it” you must “see it” and now they can see someone who looks like them sitting as a justice on the highest court of our land.
Ketanji was blessed that at a young age she knew what she wanted to do in life. The native of Washington, D.C., attended Harvard undergrad and Harvard Law School in her pursuit of becoming a lawyer. Her hard work, superior legal mind and sense of fairness allowed her to work her way up the judicial ladder and shatter the proverbial glass ceiling.
Her exemplary career was achieved while she also had the equally rewarding and challenging roles as devoted wife, loving mother and dutiful daughter. She is an excellent role model as a true “Renaissance Woman.”
I am proud to be a member of both Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and the California Black Women’s Collective, who have been outspoken, clear and unapologetic in standing with and supporting women of color in business, politics and government.
Women have a historical track record of volunteering, donating money, and pushing the agenda forward for social justice, civil rights, equal opportunity, equity in pay and voting rights. In the case of Judge Brown, along with other women organizations they showed up and showed out.
We must hold onto the hope that this is the beginning of a new day for justice in America. As the world struggles with democracy and goodwill we as a people must set the standard at the highest level. From all that I have learned about the history and impact of the work of Ketanji Brown Jackson, I believe we are in good hands.
All we can ask is for our judges to care about the needs and concerns of all Americans regardless of economic status, race, creed, or color. We all wish her many meaningful years on the court. Look out world; Here comes the judge!
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Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker.