First Black Female Muslim US Judge Found Dead

Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam | Photo: New York Supreme Court

Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first female Black Muslim judge in U.S. history, was found dead in the Hudson River in New York on Wednesday. Abdus-Salaam’s husband had reported her missing on Tuesday morning, and police reported that she was found fully clothed in a section of the river near her Harlem home.

Born in Washington, D.C. to working class parents, Abdus-Salaam spoke of being inspired to go into the law after meeting pioneering civil rights attorney Frankie Muse Freeman during a speaking event at her public high-school. After graduating from Columbia Law School in 1977, Abdus-Salaam went onto to work for years as a legal aid lawyer for low-income families with East Brooklyn Legal Services.

— source


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