Reflecting on Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Message to Birmingham

Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman on the nation’s highest court, speaks at the 60th Commemoration of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing Friday, Sept. 15, 2023, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Pool Photo/Butch Dill)

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman on the nation’s highest court, spoke on Friday, September 15 at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham for the 60th anniversary memorial service in honor of the four girls killed in the 1963 bombing at the church.

Though she stressed that she was raised by parents who made sure she knew Alabama’s rich history, Jackson shared that this week marked her first visit to the state.

“I felt in my spirit that I had to come,” she said to us, explaining why she’d decided to make the trip. “I’ve come to Alabama to commemorate and mourn, celebrate and warn,” she said.


Help MONOPOLY tell Birmingham’s story

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and Mr. Monopoly want to know which Magic City landmarks, businesses, and nonprofits you think should become squares on the board of MONOPOLY: Birmingham Edition.

Birmingham, you’ll soon be able to take family game night to another level with a special Magic City edition of the classic game MONOPOLY.

Top Trumps USA, the American division of Winning Moves International, creators of classic games and puzzles, recently announced that MONOPOLY: Birmingham Edition will debut in March 2024, under license from toy and game company Hasbro.


Southern Writers: Rep’ The South in Your Bio!

While living Down Under, Katie Matthews learned to love being from Down South.

Editor’s Note: See Jane Write now publishes personal essays by writers who identify as women, non-binary folks, and our allies. Learn more here.

By Katie Matthews

“You’re either from Scotland or America,” she guessed as I passed around the after-school snacks. I was the newest employee of the daycare program, hired primarily because I had a valid driver’s license and a clear background check. Even though my entire driving career had taken place on the opposite side of the road up to that point, I found myself piloting a bus of a dozen young kids through roundabouts and past kangaroo crossing signs to the daycare center each day.

When I moved to Perth, Australia, two things became immediately clear: few Aussies knew where my home state was, and fewer understood me when I used my most beloved pronoun, Y’all. I switched cold turkey to “You guys” and learned to identify Alabama as being “just above Florida.” I figured most people pictured Georgia by this description but decided that was close enough.

My short time in Australia helped me better contextualize my identity as a Southerner. They weren’t very familiar with the state, much less the stigmas associated with it. It was freeing for me not to have to follow up where I’m from with an immediate qualifier. “I’m from Alabama and yes we have shoes and running water.” I roll my eyes at the stereotypes, but still, I have never been particularly proud to be from the South. 

When I began my writing career, it was a skeleton in my closet.


Good People Vote: Election Day Journal Prompts

When you think of Election Day journal prompts, you may only think of writing exercises for kids.

But a chat with Tyra Robinson of Good People Vote helped me realize that adults should do some journaling in preparation for Election Day too.

Good People Vote is a Birmingham-based organization dedicated to celebrating active voters and providing relevant information on every aspect of electoral processes, both locally and nationally. Their goal is to spark conversations and self-reflection to encourage communities to take ownership of the civic process.

Read on to learn more about Good People Vote and for Election Day journal prompts for kids and adults.