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Paving the Way

Watching the Confirmation Hearings for Ketanji Jackson Reminded us of Those Who Have Paved the Way.

With Women’s History Month recently coming to a close, I think it’s important to highlight the importance of women who have paved the way for other women to make and create history, or should I say her story

On April 7th, 2022, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed and became the first Black woman to be a Supreme Court Justice. This event is and will be monumental for paving the way for other Black women that want to enter spaces of high-powered decision-making and showing they not only can do it but that they deserve to be there as well.

In an interview with Kylie Burke, graduating senior at Howard University and former student body President, she shared how she was able to attend the celebration for Judge Brown Jackson’s confirmation at the White House and she stated, “it’s important to celebrate her and it’s also important to recognize that she’s not the first Black woman qualified, she’s the first one with the opportunity.”

With Ketanji gaining this opportunity and paving the way for future generations of Black women, I wanted to highlight a Black woman who paved the way for her. This Black woman is Alice Dunnigan. Alice Dunnigan was a journalist, author, and Civil Rights activist, who became the first Black woman to be a correspondent at the White House along with the first Black woman to be a  part of the Senate and House press galleries in 1947. Dunnigan paved the way for Black people to be able to receive information about what is going on nationally and the political decisions that are being made at the national level. 

Dunnigan was able to report from the legislative and executive branches in the United States. That laid the foundation for Judge Brown Jackson to be able to have a seat.. It is unfortunate that Black people, especially Black women, have to fight multiple oppressive systems in order to receive opportunities that they’ve proved to be overqualified for, but it’s beautiful to see the sacrifices of previous generations paying off for the people that are coming behind them. 

There’s a graph I saw that shows just how overqualified Jackson Brown is from other members on the Supreme Court. graph of how qualified ketanji is – Bing images need to fact check it 

Laniyah Collins

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