An artist in D.C. is commemorating Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic Supreme Court win with a stunning mural.
Nia Katurah Calhoun is putting the finishing touches on a mural project dedicated to the first female Black Justice’s incredible law journey. According to Africa News, Calhoun’s piece will show Jackson following in the footsteps of her father, Johnny Brown, who is also a lawyer.
“I wanted to celebrate this momentous occasion while still honoring a really, really nuanced past,” Calhoun said of the beautiful mural, that will sprawl along the side of a building in North West Washington D.C., according to the publication. “A lot of the mural is very dark because it’s representing we had to get through a long period of oppression to get to a Black woman being on the highest court of the land,” she continued. “But there is a rising sun coming from the East and it’s shining directly on her because it’s a brand new day.”
Driven by her determination and the unwavering support of her family, Jackson worked her way up from the halls of Harvard law school to the vice-chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission under the Obama Administration in 2010. The star was appointed to serve the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in March 2021, just before landing a seat on the Supreme Court bench this year. In addition to Jackson, the honorary piece will pay tribute to African American heritage and Constance Baker Motley who became the first African American female federal judge to serve the nation in 1966.
“If you look at the two green lines behind me, one represents the East coast of America and the other represents the West coast of Africa and the journey that her and her family took figuratively and literally to get to where she is. She [Ketanji] talked about going from segregation to the Supreme Court in one generation. So there is a lot of sharp jagged shapes that represent the glass ceiling that she had to break through to get to where she is,” Calhoun added of her vision behind the mural.
On April 7, the Senate officially confirmed Jackson as the next Supreme Court Justice with a 53 to 47 vote. An official from the White House told CNN that Jackson will continue working with the U.S. Court of Appeals until she transitions over to her new role.
During her opening statement speech, the 51-year-old law official said she admired her parents’ resilience.
“My parents taught me that, unlike the many barriers that they had had to face growing up, my path was clearer, such that if I worked hard and believed in myself, in America I could do anything or be anything I wanted to be.”
“They taught me hard work. They taught me perseverance. They taught me that anything is possible in this great country.”
She Will Rise, an organization campaigning for a Black woman to be nominated to the Supreme Court, partnered with Calhoun to launch the forthcoming art project.
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