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'She's inspiring me': Swearing in of Supreme Court Ketanji Justice Brown Jackson brings hope to many

The first Black U.S. Supreme Court Justice was sworn in Thursday
Ketanji Brown Jackson
Posted at 5:24 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 17:30:48-04

BALTIMORE — Thursday was a monumental moment in the history of our nation's highest court.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was the first Black woman to ever be sworn in as United States Supreme Court Justice.

Crystal Amuzie, from the organization Black Girls Vote, said she was inspired while watching this historical moment.

“ You know, just over the past few years, we've seen Black women taking office, all across the country, and reaching some of the highest seats in the land,” Amuzie said.

MORE: Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson becomes first Black woman on U.S. Supreme Court

Judge Brown Jackson is the 116th Justice appointed by the Supreme Court, but the very first Black woman to hold the seat.

And although this is a joyous moment to witness, many people, including Dr. Kaye Whitehead, an African American studies professor at Loyola University, said the moment is bittersweet, considering the timing and the current political climate of our nation.

“There's a lot of faith and hope that's been lost in the Supreme Court," Dr. Whitehead said. "People are not sure what direction it's going in. People are not sure whether we can count on them to have our best interests at heart, if you stand on the side of being concerned about the last few key rulings that they've given. I know that Justice Brown Jackson will not tip the court in a different direction. But I'm excited about the dissents she's going to write."

Dr. Whitehead said another concern is that it took so long to appoint a Black woman to this position. But she’s hopeful this newness will bring a new vibrancy that ultimately lays the groundwork for other Black children to follow in her footsteps and for justice to be served.

“My hope is that when the story is finally written about what she did, it's not just about her rulings, but about the legacy she built, the decisions that she made, and the path she creates so that others may follow. She's inspiring me today to just do a little bit more, to do my part in this great American democracy,” Dr. Whitehead said.