Honoring a Trailblazer

February 1, 2024

Honoring a Trailblazer
February 1, 2024

I’m so proud to announce that Governor Lamont has proclaimed today, February 1, as “Constance Baker Motley Day" in Connecticut.

His proclamation is timed to coincide with today’s release of a commemorative stamp honoring Motley, a pioneering Civil Rights leader and federal judge. The stamp, issued today by the U.S. Postal Service, is the 47th in the Black Heritage series and joins those of Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and John Lewis. Honored as the first Black woman to serve as a federal judge, a ground-breaking Civil Rights attorney, and the first Black woman to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court, Motley was a native of New Haven and lived in the town of Chester from 1965 to 2005, where she often hosted Civil Rights leaders.

A celebration of the new first-class “Forever” stamp honoring Motley will be held at the Chester Meeting House (4 Liberty St.) on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 3 to 5 p.m. (Snow date:  Feb. 24.) All are welcome. Co-sponsored by the Chester Historical Society, the Chester Land Trust, and the Sari A. Rosenbaum Fund for Women and Girls at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, the event includes a brief speakers’ program and interactive audience discussion based on film clips from the PBS documentary on Motley, “Justice is a Black Woman.”

The Motley stamps are available online and at your local post office. To learn more about Motley’s legacy, go to: www.chesterhistoricalsociety.org; to learn about the Motley Preserve, go to: www.chesterlandtrust.org.