Jackson became emotional as she recounted the values she inherited from her parents and grandparents, as the second day of her confirmation hearing entered its 12th hour, most filled with stoicism and serious questions.
In response to questions from Sen. Cory Booker (DN.J.), Jackson noted that his parents grew up in separate schools, persevered, and then became the first in their family to go to college.
“They all went to historic black universities and they taught me to work hard,” Jackson said. “They taught me perseverance. They taught me that anything is possible in this great country.
Jackson said her parents gave her an African name to show their pride in who they were as well as their hope for who she could be. And she noted that her parents both became “public servants extraordinaire” — her mother, a public school teacher, then administrator, and her father, a lawyer, then school board prosecutor.
“They could have done, you know, other things. But each of them decided to give back to the community,” Jackson said.
It was the sacrifice of his grandparents that allowed Jackson to have opportunities they never had, she said. They didn’t have much formal education, but were the “hardest working people” she knew, she added.
“[They] just getting up every day and putting one foot at a time and supporting their families and making sure their kids go to college, even if they never had those opportunities,” Jackson said. . “I think about it in the context of this historic moment. I stand on the shoulders of people of this generation and sometimes focus on my faith when I’m going through tough times.