How Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is inspiring Detroit students

‘It just gives the whole Black community hope’

Thursday (March 24) on Capitol Hill was the fourth and final day of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's confirmation hearing. If confirmed by the Senate, the federal judge will be the first Black woman to become a Supreme Court Justice. The young Detroit women we spoke to are college-bound with big dreams, but none of them said they wanted to go into a criminal justice career, yet they say this nomination and these hearings open up possibilities.

DETROIT – Thursday was the fourth and final day of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing.

If confirmed by Senate, the federal judge would be the first Black woman to become a supreme court justice.

Young people like the students at Detroit Edison Public Academy are paying attention very closely.

Senior Niyah Lawrence said when Judge Jackson was nominated by President Joe Biden she was shocked that there hasn’t been a Black woman justice before this.

“Today I had actually seen her whole journey and leading up to where she is now so I really feel like that is very inspiring one, to me and then of course, my peers as well because it gives us an opportunity to say that we can follow in her footsteps,” Lawrence said.

Damaria March, also a senior, is inspired not just by the possibility of history being made but what Judge Jackson represents. March admires the federal judge’s natural hairstyle and the opportunity to see it on a national, professional setting.

“It just gives the whole Black community hope to just be yourself and don’t try to be like nobody else; wear your twists, wear your bantu knots,” March said.

Lawrence and March are in Tamiko Clark’s African American History class. Clark believes that her students watching history-in-the-making offers her students powerful context.

“Black people in general weren’t allowed to, to be a part of, or you couldn’t even go to certain restaurants to sit and now you have a Black woman being able to potentially sit in the highest court of the land,” said Clark.

Senior, Makyla Davis is also in Clark’s class. Davis said Judge Jackson’s story is a reminder of her own future and the difference she knows she is destined to make.

“Being the first generation to graduate high school and go to college is just big history for me too,” Davis said.

Read: Legal experts weigh in on final day of Jackson’s hearings

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.