Special to USAfrica magazine (Houston) and USAfricaonline.com, first Africa-owned, US-based newspaper published on the Internet.
Judge Jackson, Supreme Court, Blacks and Booker. By Chido Nwangwu
I watched U.S Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey, in the early evening of March 23, 2022, speak like a soulful and inspired evangelist, manifestly awash in a spiritual effervesence.
His full-throated appreciation of this ebony beauty woman of grace and intellect that he called “My Sister!” reverberated with his vibrant personality. With his bulging, piercing eye balls, history-rich mind and prayers and blessings, Brother Booker brought Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson (KBJ) to tears.
Senator Booker’s impassioned speech also highlighted the plight of Black Americans especially Black women. He connected the efforts of their forebears and parents which made it possible for him, the 4th Black man elected Senator in the U.S, and Judge Jackson to sit together in the same Senate hearing room.
“It’s hard for me not to look at you and not see my mom. Not to see my cousins, one of them who had to come here and sit behind you. She had to have your back. I see my ancestors and yours,” Booker soared. “But don’t worry, my sister. Don’t worry. God has got you. And how do I know that? You’re here, and I know what it’s taken for you to sit in that seat…. You have earned this spot…. You are worthy. You are a great American.”
The young Senator Booker, born April 27, 1969, dug deep into our African/African-American history to recall the names of a couple of distinguished Blacks on whose shoulders and examples Judge Jackson, Booker and many others have risen! Especially, the slave abolitionist Harriet Tubman who fought for her own freedom and freed many slaves: “I thought about her. And how she looked up, she kept looking up no matter what they did to her she never stopped looking up. And that star was a harbinger of hope…. Today, you’re my star. You are my harbinger of hope. This country’s getting better and better and better. And when that final vote happens, and you ascend on to the highest court in the land, I’m going to rejoice.”
Many in the room were moved to tears. Hundreds of thousands, possibly millions who watched on television, were touched deeply by Booker’s authentic, honest, emotional, heartfelt comments about KBJ. He held up “Our Sister” beyond the choking malice and pettifogging by 5 or 6 Republican Senators.
The truth is that Senator Booker’s spirit-filled oratory and rendering of the unfolding waves of history and the power of the momentous movement of history via KBJ made me tear up, too.
“Oratory is good only if it has the qualities of fitness for the occasion, propriety of style, and originality of treatment….” Those fitting words and contextualization of speech and oratorical flourish were said by Isocrates (not Socrates). He was one of ancient Greece’s top rhetorician.
Senator Booker seemed to have listened to the wise words of Isocrates! For almost 13 minutes of his comments, he took KBJ away from the wiles and hypocrisy of the Republican, ideological distortion artists. He transported almost everyone to what seemed like a celestial ordination of a deserving queen. For those endless 13 minutes, Booker who was elected since 2013 to the Senate, cut through the racially insulting antics and disrepect of the Judge by some of those Republicans who insinuate she’s the god-mother of those who view and distribute teen and pre-teen pornography.
Recklessly, the implication of their argument is that Judge Jackson (mother of two teenage daughters) should have created her own sentencing guidelines in order to put away the criminal scumbags and evil doers up to 100 years in jail!
I believe that in a couple of weeks, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will make history, deservedly, as the first Black woman appointed and confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States of America!
*Dr. Chido Nwangwu, the author of the forthcoming 2022 book, MLK, Mandela & Achebe: Power, Leadership and Identity, serves as Founder & Publisher of the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper on the internet, USAfricaonline.com, and established USAfrica in 1992 in Houston. He has appeared as an analyst on CNN, SKYnews, VOA, BET news, SABC, and served as an adviser on Africa business to Houston’s former Mayor Lee Brown. @Chido247