Ketanji Brown Jackson is currently on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, awaiting confirmation of a deeply sought-after Supreme Court Justice nomination, and she worked hard for all of her success. As explained on the Supreme Court’s blog, Jackson was born in Washington, D.C. on September 14, 1970, but soon moved to Florida as a little girl with her parents. Furthermore, her parents were both graduates of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and they began their careers as schoolteachers.
The Washington Post adds that Jackson’s parents moved to Florida in the post-civil rights eram and gave Jackson “a sense of invincibility” that still runs through her today. Moreover, her name, Ketanji Onyika, is purposely African, as they were always proud of their background and found ample power in it. Because of this, too, they would dress her in a “mini-dashiki,” a traditional African clothing article.
“My parents set out to teach me that, unlike the many impenetrable barriers that they had to face, my path was clear, such that if I worked hard and believed in myself, I could do anything or be anything I wanted to be,” Jackson said in a speech for Columbia Law School’s Empowering Women of Color gala that. And that they did. Her father, Johnny Brown, went on to law school, becoming chief attorney for the Miami-Dade County School Board, while her mother, Ellery Brown, served as principal at the prestigious New World School of the Arts (via News From the States).