Nigerians In Diaspora: Meet Onyika Jackson, first Black woman, to serve as US Supreme Court Judge
The United States Senate has confirmed Kentanji Onyika Brown Jackson, as the Supreme Court Judge making her the first Black woman and also a Nigerian in the nation’s history.
Ms Jackson was born in Washington D.C., while her parents are American descendants of enslaved Nigerians from West Africa, who traced ancestral roots to the Igbos in the South-East.
The 51-year-old Justice served as Vice-Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission, an active member of the Judicial Conference Committee on Defender Services, Harvard University’s Board of Overseers and the Council of the American Law Institute.
The Nigerian standard newspaper reports that Justice Ketanji had earlier worked as a law clerk to Judge Patti B. Saris of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, then to judge Bruce M. Selva of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
She was outstanding in private practice at Washington, D.C. law firm, Miller Cassidy Larroca & Lewin (now part of Baker Botts), then clerked for Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Justice Ketanji Onyika currently serves on the board of Georgetown Day School and the U.S. Supreme Court Fellows Commission.
During the slave era, African men and women were forced to change their names by slave owners.