WASHINGTON — On a busy intersection in Washington, an artist is painting a massive mural of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson — who will soon be sworn in as the first Black woman to serve on the U.S Supreme Court.
Nia Keturah Calhoun says that the mural is, not only a tribute to Judge Jackson, but to African-American ancestry.
“I am a Black girl with an African name. So to see a woman ascend to those heights, it means a lot to me,” Calhoun said.
Calhoun also said that the mural serves as an ode to African-American History and culture.
“She’s actually facing the rising sun because I wanted it to feel like she was, you know, optimism and hope for a brand new day. And to hit at the Negro national anthem facing the rising sun,” Calhoun said. “There’s this really great movement, Africobra, that would have been really prominent when Judge Jackson was born in the 60s and the 70s, so I really wanted to submit her in that black art history.”
Local admirers, such as DC resident Yvette Woods, say the mural is especially meaningful to the diverse community in Washington, where Black people represent 45% of the population.
“It would be nice if they could put more of them up in other communities that, I think, really need it more,” Woods said.
Woods said that art is a great way to share the historic nature of Judge Jackson’s confirmation to the high court.
“Some people say I don’t understand why it’s such a big deal, it’s a big deal,” Woods said.
Calhoun echoed those same sentiments.
“Racism still exists, sexism still exists, but she’s a brand new day and we’re hopeful for what’s going to come along,” Calhoun said.