1966 August 30

Constance Baker Motley: First African-American Woman as District Court Judge


Constance Baker Motley was confirmed on this day as the first African-American woman to be a U.S. District Court judge. Motley achieved a long list of “firsts” in her career. In 1964, she became the first African-American woman elected to the New York State Senate; and in 1966, she was chosen as the first African-American woman to be President of the Borough of Manhattan in New York City.

Read her autobiography: Constance Baker Motley, Equal Justice Under Law: An Autobiography (1998)

Learn About Motley at the Smith College “Agents of Social Change” Site:

Watch the PBS documentary: Justice is a Black Woman: The Life and Work of Constance Baker Motley (2012)

And more about her: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/motley-constance-baker-1921-2005

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