Judge Samarria Dunson was sworn into Montgomery’s Municipal Court in Alabama and is in good company joining her sister Judge Lloria James who was recently elected to the circuit court. The sisters in law are only 18 months apart in age and simultaneously attended The University of Alabama for Law. James spoke on her elder sibling saying” Everything in my path was much easier because she was right in front of me, all the clubs student judiciary, it was a lot easier for me to follow her.”
“I also was in the position to support her and warn her that she probably wouldn’t make all A’s in law school, and that was OK” Dunson replied. Both sisters decided to return to Montgomery to launch their careers after passing the Alabama Bar exam. “We wanted to actively contribute to making Montgomery a place where our children and their children would want to come back and live their adult lives James stated. While James was nurturing her career in the public spotlight Dunson took more of a behind the scenes approach choosing to support her husband who was an attorney and her sister and brother -in- law to solidify their careers first according to U.S. News & Reports.
James credited her sister saying ” For me she pretty much raised my kids while I was on the campaign trail, she was helping with homework and also setting up websites and pretty much managing my campaign.” So she was thrilled when the cities Mayor Steven Reed suggested Dunson occupy a vacant seat in the Municipal Court.
“I was really insistent and excited about her having her time, because she really deserves it, she’s brilliant in her own right. She spends a lot of time in the shadows and not stepping out and taking credit where it’s due so I was really excited for her.” Both women cited their father Sam Munnerlyn as their inspiration sharing that he had the “best work ethic. He’d go to work tired, go to work sick, always be on time, tell the truth.” They also described their mother as a person who was “filled with compassion.” Besides being the first Black sisters to assume judicial seats in Montgomery the sisters have plans to stand up for black youth.
“I don’t think a lot of children even know what to dream to be because people like us don’t spend enough time with them. It’s our job as leaders in Montgomery to be in those places, in those spaces where kids, who may not have exposure to different careers, can get that exposure. It doesn’t just help us. It helps Montgomery, Dunson explained if we’re helping to raise the new generation of professionals then that’s what it’s about for us.”
Are you proud of the lack of of rivalry and abundance of sisterly love from these trailblazers?
BY: BEWITTY Staff