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Ketanji Brown Jackson's Black Legacy

Ketanji Brown Jackson is the first black woman to serve in the U.S. Supreme Court as the Associate Justice; she won with a vote of 53 yeas and 47 nays, enough to make her a new judge. When Stephen Breyer, the previous justice, retired, the seat became vacant, and Joe Biden nominated Jackson on Feb. 25, 2022, to fill his place. She was then accepted on April 7, 2022, as the most qualified candidate.

Jackson had the most job experience before being selected as the associate justice compared to any other U.S. judge in over a century. She served on the United States District Court for 8 years within the district of Columbia, allowing her to receive more years of experience on trial court than any other Supreme Court Justice in America's history.

Serving at all three levels of federal judiciary, her experience equals four of the current sitting justices' experiences combined.

One of the most significant records she broke stemmed not from something she did, but who she was born to be, a black woman. Jackson paves the way for future individuals of color to work in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Her iconic black hairstyle consisting of locs sends a message to young black girls that they don’t have to conform their appearance in a more professional setting to succeed. They can show off their culture without breaking dress code violations.

In her speech to the younger generations, she included how she had imposter syndrome and “homesickness” when she first arrived at Harvard University and considered dropping out; however, an encouraging word from a stranger, a black woman, changed all that through one word. She told her to “persevere”, and this gave her enough courage to continue forward. Jackson’s story shows that everyone can do the same and rise to the top, regardless of societal norms.


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