Steven Nelson, New York Post, April 8, 2022
Ketanji Brown Jackson delivered an emotional speech at a White House celebration of her confirmation to the Supreme Court Friday — quoting the poet Maya Angelou to declare, “I am the dream and the hope of the slave.”
Jackson, 51, will be the Supreme Court’s third black member — following current Justice Clarence Thomas and the late Thurgood Marshall — and its first black woman.
“The path was cleared for me so that I might rise to this occasion. And in the poetic words of Dr. Maya Angelou, I do so now while ‘bringing the gifts my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave,’” Jackson said, her voice wavering with emotion on the White House lawn.
“I strongly believe that this is a moment in which all Americans can take great pride,” Jackson added. “We have come a long way toward perfecting our union. In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States.”
The judge, who will replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, said that “it’s been somewhat overwhelming, in a good way, to recently be flooded with thousands of notes and cards and photos expressing just how much this moment means to so many people.”
“The notes that I’ve received from children are particularly cute and especially meaningful because more than anything, they speak directly to the hope and promise of America,” Jackson went on.
“It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. But we’ve made it,” she said to cheers. “We’ve made it. All of us, all of us. And our children are telling me that they see now more than ever that here in America, anything is possible.”