Justice Ketanji Brown-Jackson in my opinion did not make history due to her gender and race, in fact, it is her HAIR that is truly iconic.
While thousands of workplaces and school dress codes hand down strict restrictions on locs and braids that are culturally akin to African descending human beings, would it be a stretch if we asked Justice Brown- Jackson to cut her locks before she sits on the bench?
NO! The Senate did not even notice.
Cheryl Morrow (texture hair historian and specialist), daughter of famous texture hair scientist Willie Morrow puts it like this,
“The Iconology of Justice Brown-Jackson’s hair is important because, in her interview, it was never mentioned as an issue. While of course, it would have been extremely and utterly ridiculous to approach the subject, however, it will be unfathomable for one to reason a court now with the presence of Justice Brown-Jackson to not address Afrophobia aka Hair Discrimination. I see this as an opportunity to move the issue away from its 20th-century history and language.”
Her appointment is not just significant because of her hair being locked and coiffed in gorgeous tendrils however, it says that if the environment of the prestigious SCOTUS can tolerate Brown-Jackson’s hair grooming choice, then all choices akin to African cultures should be tolerable. And that all employers and schools should follow the lead of the U.S. Senate. This means that Neat and Professional can be met with an Afrocentric twist; both literally and figuratively. “Textured and traditional African hairstyles most certainly can be fashioned and morphed into their own innate versions of “Neat and Professional” within the options that are ethological to us, says Cheryl Morrow.”
What is most important about Justice Brown-Jackson’s confirmation hearing, is that the subject of hair does not in fact have anything to do with her ability to perform and administer justice. Brown-Jackson’s hair is a common style and while in the environment of this courtroom to which Neat and Professional really applies, Locs never came up. Some would say because “Dress Codes” are private sector matters, but let’s be real, we look to the highest court in the land to set the example, that’s why the interview process is made public.
Because if all justice confirmations are based on pure performance and how the justice might rule based on their beliefs and values, well, it is safe to say that if Afrophobia comes across the bench today, tomorrow, and forevermore it will hear from Justice Brown-Jackson.
The San Diego Monitor-News has been serving Black San Diego since 1986