Street near Miami named for Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson
CUTLER BAY, Fla. (AP) — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson came home to South Florida on Monday to celebrate the renaming of a street in her honor in the community where she grew up.
“I hope that this street naming will also serve as a testament to what is possible in this great country,” said Brown, the first Black woman to serve as a U.S. Supreme Court justice.
During 40-minute ceremony in Cutler Bay attended by local dignitaries, members of the community and Brown’s parents, she noted how proud she is to have grown up in this area south of Miami. The newly named Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson Street winds through a suburban neighborhood where peacocks stroll through yards and roost in oak trees.
“This in many ways is as much a celebration of us as it is of me, and I’m saying that because I grew up among all of you.” she said. “This is where I got my start, and I really do believe that there is an important connection between my experience growing up in this area and my current position as associate justice.”
Brown is a graduate of Palmetto Senior High School, and she acknowledged teachers and coaches who she said helped her become who she is today.
“It was while I was studying and competing and growing up here in this community that I gained self confidence in the face of challenges,” she said. “I learned how to lean in, in spite of obstacles, to work hard to be resilient, to strive for excellence and to believe in myself and what I could do if given the opportunity.”
Brown said that having her name “so prominently displayed on a street in a community that has given me so much” is an incredible honor.
“I hope that people who are driving by might have a moment of reflection about what it means that a person from this neighborhood, and someone with my background, could take what this place has to offer and be well-equipped enough to then go out into the world and do what it takes to not only become the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court of United States, but also the first former public defender and the first associate justice who is from the great state of Florida.”
She noted that only four previous high court justices have had any ties to the state — William Johnson was sent to Florida by the British as a prisoner of war during the Revolutionary War, John Campbell once taught school in the state, and George Shiras Jr. and John Paul Stevens each retired in Florida.
“So far, so far, I’m the only Supreme Court justice who can boast of being from Florida,” Brown said. “And I’m so proud that I grew up here in this South Florida community, which thanks to all of you now has a prominent street that bears my name.”