Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s hairstyle puts spotlight on sisterlocks

With the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, many women can’t help but notice her hairstyle.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, many women can’t help but notice her hairstyle.

The judge wears sisterlocks. The style is in the family of dreadlocks, but looks different and is mostly worn by women.

While maintaining a client’s sisterlocks Friday, lock specialist and owner of NE. Beauty in Jacksonville, Toni Edwards, describes the style as flexible, versatile and feminine.

She says it hasn’t always been perceived that way.

“There could’ve been more of a stigma as far as unkept, ungroomed and maybe associated with other cultures that are different from the American culture,” said Edwards.

In recent years, there were reports of cases where Black teenagers were told to cut their dreadlocks to walk at graduation or participate in sports.

The conversation grew wider to what people considered professional hairstyles at work.

It led to the House passing the CROWN Act in 2022, prohibiting discrimination based on a person’s hair texture or style.

“I feel like the world, overall, is becoming more accepting of us,” Edwards explained.

Related: House passes bill to prohibit discrimination based on hair

What she says feels like a huge acceptance was the confirmation of Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court. Edwards says it’s been the talk in the sisterlock community for weeks.

“We were so excited to see another African American sister that is wearing a hairstyle that we all love and adore and (are) so proud of,” said Edwards. “It is a pride that we in the African American community, especially when it comes to our hair, have something that we love, we cherish, we’re proud of and it gives us a sisterhood. It gives us a bond.”

We don’t know when the judge started her lock journey. Early pictures show her with straight hair — pressed and curled.

But it’s seeing the nomination to confirmation, and the judge sporting a style connected to so many women that inspired Edwards the most.

“I’m glad for the Supreme Court justice that she has this because I feel like it breaks down that worry with a lot of other women. She has it so of course I’ll be accepted. If she can do this. I can do this too,” said Edwards.

She says Jacksons’ knowledge and experience to sit in this role, in a way, is weaved into her sisterlocks.

Judge Jackson will officially take the seat this summer, when Justice Stephen Bryer retires.

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson smiles during a meeting with Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., in his office at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 29, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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A Florida-born, Emmy Award winning journalist and proud NC A&T SU grad