In October, Judge Robert L. Wilkins of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia spoke at his portrait ceremony about his family, and the genealogy of law and slavery that is deeply a part of his family’s history and our national America history. Judge Wilkins spoke about his maternal grandmother, Marcella Hayes, who was “a documenter of our family history,” and from whom he “inherited that habit.” And he spoke with passion and precision about what members of his family endured, about his fourth great-grandmothers on either side of his family who lived in a world in which the “kidnapping, coercion, abuse, and despair” of enslaved people was not only legal but facilitated by the U.S Constitution. For Slate Dahlia Lithwick wrote about Judge Wilkins’s remarks and the implications; you can read here story here.

From Dahlia Lithwick’s story in Slate (see link above)

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