DC Celebrates Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Confirmation To The U.S. Supreme Court

Artists work on the new Ketanji Brown Jackson mural on the side of the Chicken + Whiskey restaurant on 14th Street NW, Washington, DC.

Brizel Martinez-Cruz
UJW-DC Spring 2022

Crowds gathered at a block party at the unfinished mural of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Brizel Martinez Cruz

WASHINGTON -– Charlene McWilliams and her young daughter gathered in early April at the corner of 14th and S St. NW to celebrate the historic confirmation of a Black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The first emotion that I had was pride and that my daughter could see somebody who looked like her in one of the highest courts in the land,” McWilliams said as she held her 5-year-old daughter tightly while Go-Go music blared in the background.

The Maryland resident brought her daughter to a block party honoring Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson where a mural of the judge was set to be unveiled. The mural was not completed in time for the block party because of the rainy weather, the artist Nia Keturah Calhoun told 7News. But the inclement weather didn’t stop people from celebrating.

Face painting, drawing with chalk, and double dutch were provided for entertainment while the Go-Go band Be’la Dona performed. Most of the large crowd gathered in the middle of the street to dance.

 Young DC resident Micah Troy gets a Batman-themed face painting by Fabulous Face Painting by                 Natasha. Brizel Martinez Cruz

A day earlier, Jackson appeared at the White House alongside President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to give remarks on her confirmation. She thanked everyone who supported her along her journey and acknowledged her new responsibilities.

“They also tell me that I’m a role model, which I take both as an opportunity and as a huge responsibility,” Jackson said.

Betty Harris, who isn’t a relative of the vice president, also attended the block party and stood on the sidewalk listening to the performance of Be’la Dona.

“It was a long time representation overdue for women,” Harris explained.

Not everyone was ecstatic about Jackson’s confirmation. Several Republican senators walked out of the Senate chamber while Democrats cheered after the Senate confirmed Jackson.

That upset McWilliams.

“I think it’s very disrespectful and it’s a testament to what’s going on now in government and what some of the parties are thinking about people as a whole,” McWilliams said.

This historic confirmation to the Supreme Court inspired many, including mothers like McWilliams.

“She inspired me to continue to grow in my little daughter, the importance of standing firm and really being diligent and be poised, no matter what comes at you.”


Founded in 1975, the Washington Association of Black Journalists is an organization of Black journalists, journalism professors, public relations professionals and student journalists in the D.C., metro area. WABJ provides members with ongoing professional education opportunities and advocates for greater diversification of the profession.