The first African American female judge
Being that it is Women’s history month; a month dedicated to celebrating the contributions of women, for example, Jane Matilda Bolin, the first black female judge. Jane Bolin graduated from Yale Law school where she was one of the only three women in her class and the only African American student. Being a minority in many of the colleges she attended she experienced overt racism, social isolation, and even hostility. Even then she continued to become the first black woman to earn a law degree from Yale, the first to join the New York City Bar Association, and later on, the first African American female judge in the U.S.
Bolin was an advocate for children and families, she was said to be a “thoughtful, conscientious force on the bench”. She would even not wear traditional judicial robes so that the children she worked with felt more comfortable. She also changed segregationist policies, including skin-color-based assignments for probation officers. Bolin worked with Eleanor Roosevelt in providing a holistic program to help put an end to juvenile crime among boys. She also worked in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the New York Urban League, and was a member of the New York State Board of Regents. Bolin fought for racial justice all her life, but as a judge, she always saw herself as a guardian for the whole city and for all children in need.
I think Jane Bolin is an inspiration because even after she campaigned unsuccessfully for a state assembly seat, she didn’t give up. In fact, she found other ways to further her knowledge of law and help her community. As I read about her work as a judge I can’t help but feel that we need more people like her; caring and considerate. That kindness is what will transcend our differences.
How can kindness reunite our country?