Book Review: "Who Is Ketanji Brown" By Shelia P. Moses

Since it is Black History Month, I wanted to give a summary of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. I just finished the book Who is Ketanji Brown by Shelia P. Moses from the familiar biographical series, Who Is/Was created by the Who HQ team. 

These short reads provide condensed, accessible information for readers of all ages on historical figures and events, contemporary innovators and events, and more.

A colorful image of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in her judge's gown. She is in front of a courthouse, and the courthouse is divided into three sections with different colorful filters on top, making it a pale blue, a dark blue, and a bright yellow background.

Ketanji Brown Jackson was born in Washington, D.C., but raised in Miami, Florida. Both of her parents were educators, and she has one brother. She attended a white school as a child and that presented unique challenges. Jackson was described as a brilliant and very well-spoken child and eventually voted "as most likely to succeed" among her peers in high school. Ever since she was a little girl, she wanted to be a judge. 

Jackson fell in love with the Harvard campus when she took a field trip to Harvard University and later attended school there. On campus, she noticed that one of her colleagues at Harvard University had a confederate flag on their window. A group of students and Jackson protested daily about the confederate flag; despite their efforts, the administrator stated, "The student can display the flag on the window." After she graduated from Harvard, she married Patrick Jackson, who was pursuing a medical career. They have two daughters, Talia and Leila. 

Jackson first met Barack Obama, a Harvard alum, at a friend's wedding. She first worked as a poll monitor during Obama's presidential campaign and later served as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Breyer. Due to their careers, Jackson and her family moved to Washington, D.C. Jackson was also an assistant for special counsel for the U.S. Sentencing Commission and a federal public defender. As a public defender, she represented individuals who could not afford a lawyer to represent them, and as an assistant for a special counsel, she helped determine the sentence or punishment for an individual committing a specific crime.

President Obama nominated Jackson for the U.S. Sentencing Commission (2010) and nominated her for the U.S. District of Columbia (2013). She officially became a judge for the District of Columbia in 2013! Due to the passing of Justice Antonin, Jackson's daughter Leila wrote a well-written letter to President Obama to encourage him to select her mother as the new Supreme Court Justice. When Biden became president, he wanted a black woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice and chose Ketanji Brown Jackson. Despite reservations from some politicians, she became the first black woman to serve as a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Who is Ketanji Brown Jackson? is recommended for 8 to 12 years old or third to seventh grade students. You can check out this book from any Jefferson County Library Cooperative member, including all Birmingham Public Library locations.

You can also find more from the Who Is series in our catalog

By Katrina Robinson | Library Assistant Ⅲ, Inglenook Branch Library