Confirming Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed the value of Black womanhood

todayApril 11, 2022 165

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By Solomon Jones | WHYY

The full Senate has confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, and it is a victory for all of us.

Such feats aren’t accomplished without sacrifice. Black women are all too familiar with that reality, and Judge Jackson was reminded of that truth during confirmation hearings that were too often hostile.

Several Republican senators used the hearings as a platform to demean her as a Black woman and a judge, asking her ridiculous questions about irrelevant subjects ranging from critical race theory to the meaning of womanhood. They criticized sentencing decisions that were strikingly similar to sentences handed down by other federal judges. They seemed intent on reminding her that despite her qualifications and experience, she is still a Black woman.

Yet, as insulting as that treatment was, I am reminded of the biblical story of Joseph. After rising to prominence despite his brothers selling him into slavery, Joseph told his brothers that while they meant their actions for evil, God meant them for good.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation is a testament to the strength of Black women everywhere, including the many Black women who made it possible for me to thrive.

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