She believed she could, and she did. Now we can: The Impact of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson

On April 7, 2022, the United States Senate confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson as the next Justice of the Supreme Court, marking a historic step in the nation’s tortuous history with race and gender. For the first time, a Black woman will serve on the US Supreme Court.

Regardless of political affiliation, it is impossible to ignore the significance of this moment. While Justice Brown Jackson’s judicial impact remains an open question, her personal impact, particularly on Black women, is undeniable: a resounding affirmation and inspiration. Here are a few reflections from members of the Boston College Law School community.

Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

Justice Jackson’s confirmation has acted as a beacon of hope for Black people, especially Black women. She is living proof that our generations of screaming that we deserve a seat at the table have not been for naught. I walk with my head high, knowing that we can do it and that it has been done.

Praise Tillman
Praise Tillman
Class of 2024

KBJ has just shattered another layer of the glass ceiling Black women have been trapped under for far too long. My reaction to seeing a Black woman with locs and a mother of two defy all odds stacked against her and prevail. Ketanji Brown Jackson has cemented herself in history books and in the dreams of all the little Black girls across the country who hope to one day stand in her shoes.

Imani Roberson
Imani Roberson
Class of 2024

I remember being fidgety and antsy with nervous energy all day as I watched the clock draw nearer and nearer to 1:45 — the time that I knew the Senate would begin their vote to confirm KBJ. And when the 53rd yay was finally counted and Kamala Harris cemented JUSTICE Brown Jackson’s position on the highest court in the United States, I wanted to cry– not just because I was happy or because I was proud, but because I was relieved that the change and progress Black people in this country have been fighting for for so long had finally begun to come due. Obviously, we have so much farther to go, and the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t just yet visible, but as a young Black woman with my entire legal career in front of me, Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation means more to me than just inspiration–it is the gentle whisper of hope for a better day, the reassurance that I got this, and the confirmation that this is just the beginning of endless opportunities to come.

Mariatu Okonofua
Mariatu Okonofua
Class of 2023

She believed she could, and she did. Now we can.


Amy Onyonyi
Amy Onyonyi
Class of 2024

5.5% of attorneys are Black. 2% are Black women. But 100% of us rejoiced with empowerment on April 7. 

Kristen Daly
Kristen Daly
Class of 2022

Justice Brown Jackson’s seat on the Supreme Court is revolutionary to say the least. I am bursting with pride and joy. When Justice Brown Jackson shows up to serve the highest court of the land and writes decisions based on laws that did not recognize Black people as human beings she is acting in resistance. I am proud to see her stand tall in her Blackness and to walk in her purpose. I hope she can bask in the fact that every day she shows up as Justice Brown Jackson, she is validating someone else’s path and purpose. That kind of impact is invaluable.

Tyler Barton
Tyler Barton
Class of 2024

Travis Salters is a second-year student at BC Law, and Vice President of the Impact blog. Contact him at salterst@bc.edu.

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