Scholars, advocates: Ketanji Brown Jackson's Supreme Court confirmation is major moment for people of color

Scholars, advocates: Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation is major moment for people of color

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NEW YORK — The soon-to-be newest member of the highest court in the country holds special meaning for young Black girls.

CBS2’s Jessica Moore has more on the impact of Ketanji Brown Jackson’s appointment to the Supreme Court.

On the morning of March 21, 4-year-old Nuri and 2-year-old Neva stood outside the court to witness history.

Inside, Brown Jackson was getting grilled by senators, as the first Black woman nominated to the Supreme Court, and the girls saw something familiar.

“She looks like me, and that was something that was so powerful. She has natural hair. She’s darker skinned and she looks like my daughter,” said Dr. Nadia Brown, director of women and gender studies at Georgetown University. “And I hadn’t made that connection or put that out there for her, but for the 4-year-old to see that this justice will look like her, was such a touching a standout moment.”

Brown is also Nuri and Neva’s mother.

“What message do you think this sends to little girls of color all across the country?” Moore asked.

“To aim high and that you can achieve what you work hard for, but it also sent another message. It sends a message that you will be ridiculed, that your qualifications will be questioned, your motivations will be questioned. And the way that Judge Ketanji Brown answered it, with such dignity with humility, but also with pride right shows a model of how people can answer those things,” Brown said.

People of all races say they found Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing offensive, especially after Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton said, “If you are a criminal, you would be lucky if your case is assigned to Judge Jackson.” 

“There were just questions that were asked of her that would never be asked to any non-Black woman, re-litigating Plessy vs. Ferguson. Things like that would never be asked of anyone else,” Georgetown student Roman Peregrino said.

Dr. Nadia Brown says the biggest win with Judge Brown Jackson’s confirmation is how it changes the fabric of our country — and the minds of our children.

“The normalization of different people in power just changes, again, the stereotypes and the very closed-minded ways that we oftentimes think politics is a man sport and particularly a white man’s game, and it isn’t,” Brown said.

Justice Brown Jackson will be sworn in this summer to continue a legacy that will last far beyond her lifetime.

Dr. Brown said she plans to take her daughters back for Judge Brown Jackson’s swearing-in ceremony. 

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