I’ve been wanting to commemorate Black History Month in a way that isn’t trite and says something both pertinent and uplifting about where we are today. The conversation in Pennsylvania between the Rev. Marshall Mitchell and Congressman Conor Lamb, who’s running for the US Senate, moved me profoundly and met my criteria.
It also confirms, I believe, the wisdom of President Biden’s determination to name one of the eminently well-qualified, brilliant Black women under consideration for a seat on the US Supreme Court.
My personal favorite of the three women who are reportedly the top contenders–and have all been interviewed–is Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, whom President Biden appointed to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia last year. (This is the second highest federal court.)
At that point, she gained the votes of several Republican Senators–no small feat these days.
Judge Jackson, who was a law clerk for retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, has both undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard.
Most importantly, she has served as a public defender, giving her a perspective that has never before been represented on the Supreme Court. At a time when the inequities of our justice system have been revealed far too often, it is a perspective of immense value.
With any of these potential nominees, we will all benefit from having the voice of a woman who has had to excel against great odds associated with the color of her skin and has been deemed worthy by both her experience and “the content of [her] character.”
I have no way of knowing, of course, but I often wonder if I would be able to muster the enthusiasm for democracy that Black women continue to demonstrate, despite the “small” soul-sapping everyday slights and large societal roadblocks, injustices, and even violence that mark life for Black Americans.
I feel an enormous debt of gratitude for these mostly unnamed, unrecognized women who are relentless in their belief that they can help push us toward a “more perfect union.”
As always, I welcome your comments.