Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, after hours of intense questioning during her confirmation hearing last month, delivered a message to young people who hoped to follow her path: “I want them to know that they can do and be anything.”
For many of the women of the Harvard Black Law Students Association, which counts Judge Jackson as an alumna, that message, and her nomination, has resonated. Some of the women of the association sat down with The New York Times to reflect on what this moment — the expected confirmation of the first Black woman to the Supreme Court — means to them.
They identified with Judge Jackson’s lived experience — including her hairstyle.
“The fact that she has those locks in her hair that are so gorgeous, it just shows how authentic she is, how true to herself she is,” said Rachel Favors, 25. “When I look at her, I just see so much, so much, of myself and my friends and family.”
They lamented the barriers that remain.
Some parts of the proceeding, said Matlaleng Babatunde, 24, “were extremely frustrating and very reminiscent of what we experience sometimes in class, and even what we experience just in the everyday world, when people think that because of what they see the gender and race and identity, they can almost belittle you or speak over you.”
And they spoke of celebrating and being inspired by her as a pioneer.
“Just seeing Judge Jackson being nominated and thinking about her potentially being on the highest court in the land, it just reminds me that I could do that too,” said Sammy Camy, 24. “And I can see that for myself.”
See more from our interviews with some of these women.