Remembering the legacy of Jane Bolin - America's first Black woman judge

Here are 10 quotes on the birth anniversary of Jane Bolin, the first black woman to graduate from Yale Law School and to become a judge in the US.

Jane Bolin has shattered many glass ceilings as a woman of colour in the US. In 1939, she became the first black woman judge in the country when she was sworn into the bench of the New York City Domestic Relations Court and remained as the only black female judge for the next 20 years.

An ardent supporter of children’s rights and education, Jane was also the first black woman to graduate from Yale Law School.  

In 1979, she retired reluctantly from her legal profession, and eventually breathed her last at 98-years-old in 2007. 

On her birth anniversary, here’s looking at her legacy through her own words:

"I was horrified and transfixed by  pictures and news stories of lynchings and other atrocities against blacks solely because of their race."

“There was little opportunity for women in law, and absolutely none for a ‘coloured one’”.

“I was rejected on account of being a woman, but I'm sure that race also played a part.”

“We have to fight every inch of the way, and in the face of sometimes insufferable humiliations.” 

"When I came in, the one or two black probation officers handled only black families. I had that changed."

"I wasn't concerned about the first, second, or last. My work was my primary concern."

“It is easy to imagine how a young, protected child who sees portrayals of brutality is forever scarred and becomes determined to contribute in her own small way to social justice.”

“Those gains we have made were never graciously and generously granted. We have had to fight every inch of the way.”

"Families and children are so important to our society, and to dedicate your life to trying to improve their lives is completely satisfying."

"I'd rather see if I can help a child than settle an argument between adults over money."

Edited by Suman Singh


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