Kyra Bolden Could Become The First Black Woman To Join Michigan’s Supreme Court

1 month ago

Michigan state Rep. Kyra Harris Bolden decided to pursue a career in politics after learning about the 1939 lynching of her great-grandfather.

The 35-year-old Democrat was still an undergraduate student when her great-grandmother told her the story of how Bolden’s great-grandfather Jesse Lee Bond was lynched by white store owners in Tennessee in 1939 and how his murderers were never brought to justice.

“He was beaten, castrated and thrown into a local river by a lynch mob because he asked for a receipt at a store,” Bolden, a candidate for the Michigan Supreme Court in the midterm elections, told HuffPost in an interview.

“The coroner said his death was an accidental drowning.”

Though Bond’s death went largely unreported for decades, the Lynching Sites Project (LPS), a Memphis-based organization that identifies Tennessee lynching victims, helped bring light to his death and the deaths of other victims of the racist laws and systemic oppression of the time.

“This story was shared with me late in my college career, and from there, I knew I needed to go into politics,” Kyra told HuffPost.

Her family’s story inspired Bolden to follow a career in law and politics, and if she wins a seat on the Michigan Supreme Court this November, she could be the first Black woman to do so in the state’s history.

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