The group of Black female judges who made history in November when they were elected as judges in Texas has now been sworn in.
The 17 judges, whose group photo spread online with the phrase “Black Girl Magic,” were made official judges in Harris County, Texas, Tuesday, Jan. 1.
As such, they make up what is believed to be the largest group of Black women judges to be elected at the same time in the history of the county, according to CNN. The two other women in the campaign who lost their state office races had already been county judges, and The New York Times reported they’ll remain in their respective seats.
“Today we usher in a new era of representative government and progressive leadership in Harris County. #ItAllStartsHere,” Harris County Democrats tweeted in part of the New Year’s Day ceremony, which cements the blue wave that came last year when Democratic district judges were elected in the state’s largest county, which is home to the city of Houston.
“I, for one, am looking into making sure that every person who has a legal case, has an equal opportunity for justice,” incoming Judge Latosha Lewis Payne said to KHOU at the morning’s ceremony.
“I also wanted to serve as an inspiration for all those people who wondered if they could. Yes, you can,” said Angela Graves-Harrington, who was also sworn in.
With 19 women on the November ballot, the judges went viral when then-hopeful Justice LaShawn A. Williams’ August post reflecting on the significance of the judges running for office took off.
“I’ve waited for the reveal of this photo of 19 judicial candidates for several weeks — 19 Black women running for judge in Harris County, Houston, TX,” she wrote at the time. “This entire time I’ve thought of what I’d say the day we were able to share this moment in history with everyone. But really I’m humbled. Never did I imagine that the day I decided to run to be judge, I’d become a part of a club of phenomenal Black women, sisters-in-law, gifted, brilliant, strong – everything I hope to be! It is with great pride and excitement that I share this ‘Black Girl Magic’ with you! Congratulations – you are truly black girl magic! #trustblackwomen #blackgirlmagictx #lawforjudge #19newfacesofjustice.”