Being the first Black person in anything has been described as a proud and lonely walk. McCollum was the lone Black woman during much of her judicial career. However, her elections proved that Black women can be elected as judges, and other Black women followed her lead in courts throughout Montgomery County. Each of the six Black female judges who came after McCollum have been mentored by her. This she did with openness and genuineness. Her only motivation was to ensure that we would succeed.
McCollum will be retiring at the end of the year after 42 years. She has worked hard and achieved a stellar judicial career and a reputation for excellence. She exemplifies all the qualities of great judges: fairness, kindness, patience, dignity, promptness, independence and common sense. As a result of her hard work, she is now the longest serving Black female judge in Montgomery County.
Recently, McCollum and five Black female judges gathered to document their history and preserve it in a photograph. Like the image of Kamala Harris and Ruby Bridges, maybe some little Black girl will view this image, be inspired and see the possibilities. This gathering was also our opportunity to personally acknowledge and thank Judge McCollum for being courageous enough to start it all for us to follow.
Deirdre Logan is a Dayton Municipal Court judge. Guest columns are submitted or requested fact-based opinion pieces typically of 300 to 450 words.