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First black woman elected to Ohio Supreme Court has chance to be trendsetter

As she stepped through a set of double doors in the Premier Banquet Hall, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Melody Stewart nearly walked into a group of young students trying to take a picture together.

The group, elementary school students from Ella P. Stewart Academy for Girls, was one of several from Toledo Public Schools attending the 15th annual Black History Brunch hosted by the Perry Burroughs Democratic Women’s Club on Saturday morning. The students were there to see Justice Stewart, the first African-American woman elected to the state’s highest court, and Justice Stewart was there to see the students.

“What grades are you in?” the justice asked as the young girls gathered around her for another photo.

A chorus of different responses answered her: “Fifth grade” and “fourth grade” and “third grade.”


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