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African American Judges Offer Life Lessons

Three African American judges reflect on challenges they faced and lessons they learned before joining the federal bench, in a new Heritage Spotlight video honoring African American History Month.

“It’s important not to let people define what your future is, or who you are,” said Judge Reggie B. Walton, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

In interviews, Walton, Judge Julie A. Robinson, of the District of Kansas, and Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, all described how experiences in childhood and youth shaped their careers.

“I realized education was precious,” Gregory said. Robinson’s father supported her dream, at age 5, to become a lawyer. Walton’s mother “became very irate” when a guidance counselor suggested he was not qualified for college and should instead go to trade school. 

To learn more, visit the African American History Month page. Additional Heritage Spotlight videos are available at the Judiciary’s YouTube page.

Related Topics: Judicial History