By the grace of a million prayers, it is done. Ketanji Brown Jackson is officially the first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court. (Thank you, Georgia.) Black parents around the country will tell their Black boys and girls of this moment–providing another example of how even the wildest dreams can be realized even in a place that may be hostile to who they are.
I think about the confirmation hearings where there were mischaracterizations of Brown’s record, and how she handled it with grace and intelligence. Republican senators tried to question everything, and she still would not waver. Then, I think of the abundance of laws outlawing Critical Race Theory and “divisive concepts” in schools and workplaces. These laws are not only coming into place because of white supremacy’s inability to look itself in the mirror, but they serve as a reminder that Black people succeed anyway despite opposition–that’s the fear. Ketanji Brown Jackson’s ascent to the Supreme Court scares those who can’t face the notion, knowing the more stories Black people have at their disposal, the more they see how Black is beautiful.
Today’s events show that Black people are poetry in motion, and those who seek to censor where we came from can never stop where we are going.
Albert Einstein once said, “energy cannot be created, nor destroyed. Today, I say that Black history cannot be erased or forgotten. You can never take away how poet Langston Hughes majestically framed how America looks to Black people in “I, Too” or Rep. Shirley Chisholm being the first African American candidate to be nominated by a major party for U.S. President. Jackson’s victory is another reminder that Blackness comes in all forms, professions, and aspirations.
You can try to strip Blackness from schoolbooks, but it’s in our speech, songs, looks, and the greatness we see every day. While some try to erase our history, Black people continue to create excellence nobody can ignore.