Court renamed after state’s 1st black high court justice

November 12, 2017 GMT

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts courthouse has been renamed in honor of the first African American to sit on the state’s highest court.

The Hamden County Hall of Justice in Springfield will now be called the Roderick L. Ireland Courthouse. A renaming ceremony was held on Friday.

Ireland became the first African American on the Supreme Judicial Court when he was appointed as an associate justice in 1997.

He was also the court’s first African-American Chief Justice. He retired from the court in 2014 after serving as a judge for nearly four decades.

Ireland is now a professor of criminology and criminal justice at Northeastern University.