Lessons from the Confirmation of Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson

By now, you’ve heard/watched/witnessed the extraordinary and historical confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. After a tense brutal process, Judge Jackson persevered, maintained professionalism and presented her genius to the world!

Like those who’ve come before, the road to confirmation is highly politically and demeaning. Legislators intensify their efforts to trivialize career decisions and question the candidates’ worthiness. However, there were a few moments during the process that affirmed for me the difficulties associated with being qualified in your own right but illegitimate in the eyes of White supremacy. Judge Jackson was challenged about issues unrelated to her profession. Every level of her educational and career pursuits were brought in to question… even by men she shared the same campus, courses and degrees with.

In my own reflection, I asked myself what key takeaways about the process might be important as a person who identifies as a teacher, preacher and youth influencer. Here it goes:

1. Black peoples always have to work to prove themselves in ways that members of the dominant culture do not. Judge Jackson offers us the reminder that proving your worth to yourself through work ethic pays off. Nobody can invalidate the confidence you have in yourself when you know you have gone the extra mile to be successful.

2. There will be things about you that intimidate people. Showing up might be all it take to upset them. Don’t let that stop you. Their intimidation is not your problemish! Period.

3. Never miss an opportunity to talk about what matters to you. Your passion is fuels by your experiences. No one can take those away from you.

4. Take others along with you! No matter what was said or done in those hearings, Judge Jackson only had to look over her shoulders for the strength of her parents, husband and children. Bringing folks with you help you to stay grounded and committed.

5. Finally, SEE IT THROUGH. You have what it takes in you already. Crying, doubting, praying and wanting to quit may be a part of the process… but you got this!

PS. I got an Auntie on the Supreme Court. (And no Uncles cause I don’t claim Tom!)

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