Judge Kentaji Brown Jackson: Paving the Way For Black Girls


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Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson listens during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday, March 21, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Lilianne Asokwah, ENN Staff

Before his presidency, President Joe Biden promised to nominate a black woman to the highest court. On February 25, 2022, Biden honored that promise and nominated Kentaji Brown Jackson to become the 116th Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. On April 26th, Jackson was confirmed by a group of senators and officially made history for America.

The Supreme Court is notorious for its lack of diversity. Of the 116 justices, 108 have been white men, 110 have been men, 5 have been women, 3 have been people of color (all genders), and now only 1 has been a black woman. Jackson is now the third black person to be on the supreme court. Sophomore, Kyra Bryant, believes that her confirmation will open even more doors for young black girls in the future. 

“Her confirmation is significant to me because I feel like maybe we are sort of changing now and being more open to having political diversity. It makes me so proud that she can represent us as black women to hopefully bring change in America. This is a huge part of history and is bound to be in the future history books that she’s the first black woman on the Supreme Court,” said Bryant. 

Having diversity in white-dominated areas is very important in order to inspire younger children of color. According to Vice.com, 63% of black people agreed that it’s extremely important to them personally that a Black woman serves on the Supreme Court. Although other people of color may disagree, Bryant believes that black women in higher positions will be the voice for other black girls.

It’s important to have more black women in higher positions because it shows that we have gained more political influence over the past few decades and that all of our efforts to gain this recognition in a white-dominated country are worth it. It’s also important because when we as black women need a change to benefit us, black women in these positions can sort of be our spokesperson to help non-black women understand. This will inspire younger black girls to do what they want for a career, even if it’s white-dominated or out of the ordinary for a black person to do. If a black girl feels discouraged to pursue a political career then they can now look to her as inspiration. I can genuinely see her being one of the people that half of the class uses for a black history project,” said Bryant.

People of color in higher positions tend to enact different laws or in this case, vote in favor of different cases than others. Sophomore, Imani Johns, believes that people of color are able to empathize with others more efficiently.

“People of minority groups tend to be more empathetic and able to sympathize with more situations because of their ethnicity or gender, they have gone through some of those harder times so they can understand what it’s like for someone else to be in that position,” said Johns.

Although black girls may have been limited in some areas in the past, there are now so many examples of black women doing amazing things that can inspire younger girls. Johns wants to see black girls in every field.

“I want to see black girls go to space, I want to see us doing everything and anything under the sun,” said Johns.