#OnThisDay September 14, 1921 Constance Baker Motley, Manhattan Borough President and the first Black woman named as a federal judge, was born.

Who was Constance Baker Motley?

Glad you asked.

#GladYouAsked
This Queen, who attended my alma mater of Fisk University for two years, was a trailblazer her whole life, was a lawyer🔥, judge🔥🔥, state senator🔥🔥🔥 and Borough President 🔥🔥🔥🔥of Manhattan, New York City.
Born the ninth of 12 children of immigrant parents from the island of Nevis, Motley was simply an amazing high school student. When she graduated, her family didn't have enough money for college and she got a job with the National Youth Administration, a New Deal position.
After giving a speech, a local philanthropist and her church pitched in to send her to Fisk University. After two years there, she returned to New York and graduated from NYU and got her law degree from Columbia Law School.
After graduating from Columbia's Law School in 1946, she was hired by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) as a civil rights lawyer, their first woman attorney. She was the lead trial attorney in MANY early civil rights cases.
Among other casese, she represented Martin Luther King Jr., the Freedom Riders, and the Birmingham Children Marchers. She visited Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. while he sat in jail, as well as spent a night with civil rights activist Medgar Evers under armed guard.
In 1950, she wrote the original complaint in the case of Brown v. Board of Ed. The first Black woman ever to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. In Meredith v. Fair she won James Meredith's fight to be the first Black student to attend the University of MS in 1962.
She won NINETY PERCENT of the cases she argued before SCOTUS y'all. 🔥🤩She was otherwise a key legal strategist in the civil rights movement, helping to desegregate Southern schools, buses, and lunch counters. This Queen was just getting started.
In 1964, Motley was the first BLACK WOMAN elected to the New York State Senate and devoted much of her time to advocated for housing equality for majority-Black and Latinx, low-income tenants. She won re-election handily.
Through her sheer political skill, savvy and genious, she worked within the Democratic Party, resigned her seat and was selected in 1965 as Manhattan Borough President—-the 1st Black woman in that position. In November 1965, she was elected to succeed herself for a full 4yr term.
Pause here for a second.

Black women have forced, and forged, the Democratic Party from one that founded the KKK to one that elected Barack Obama, Kamala Harris and the first Black woman federal judge.

Remember that.
She was nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson on January 26, 1966, to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York vacated by Judge Archie Owen Dawson. Welp, racism, man, which has been winning since 1526 was gonna rear its head.
Racist ass US Senator James Eastland of MS delayed her confirmation process for 7 months b/c he opposed Baker's victories for the Freedom Riders, integrating the University of MS and, of course, the Brown decision. 🤬🤬🤬🤬
This is the same Sen. Eastland who said Black ppl were inferior animals, SCOTUS's Brown decision was to be ignored, the 3 civil rights workers who were found murdered was a hoax invented by northerners . . . oh man this guy was a horrible human being.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Eas…
Despite Eastland, she was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 30, 1966 becoming the first Black federal judge. She served as Chief Judge from 1982 to 1986. She assumed senior status on September 30, 1986. Her service ended when she died in 2005.
This member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. received hundreds of awards and accolades during her rich, amazing and awesome life. One of her key cases where she was the presiding judge on the case of Blank v. Sullivan & Cromwell, a landmark case for women lawyers.
In Blank, the plaintiffs accused a law firm of sex discrimination. Due to the nature of this case and Motley's gender and race, there were calls for Motley to withdraw from the case assuming she would be biased. 🙄
She fairly, of course, ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. I mean come on now.

casebriefs.com/blog/law/civil…
FIN/

Constance Baker Motley, rest in peace and power Queen.

Sources:
casebriefs.com/blog/law/civil…
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constance…

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