15 Jane Bolin Quotes from First Black Woman Judge in United States

Jane Matilda Bolin was the first black woman to graduate from Yale Law School, join the New York City Bar Association and serve as a US judge.

Denied admission to Vassar College due to racial discrimination, Bolin still pursued a law career, passing the New York bar in 1932.

She made big strides in child services, advocating for racial equality.

A children’s rights activist, Bolin also served on several civil rights organizations’ boards.

Jane Matilda Bolin was the first black woman to graduate from Yale Law School, join the New York City Bar Association and serve as a US judge.

Even after retiring in 1979, she volunteered as a reading instructor and served on the New York State Board of Regents, inspiring future legal professionals.

I have made a list of the most famous quotes by Jane Bolin.

Top 5 Jane Bolin Quotes


When I came in, the one or two black probation officers handled only black families. I had that changed. ~ Jane Bolin.


I wasn’t concerned about first, second or last. My work was my primary concern. ~ Jane Bolin.


I’d rather see if I can help a child than settle an argument between adults over money. ~ Jane Bolin.


I was rejected on account of being a woman, but I’m sure that race also played a part. ~ Jane Bolin.


There was little opportunity for women in law, and absolutely none for a ‘coloured one’ ~ Jane Bolin.

Famous Jane Bolin Quotes

Poughkeepsie is fascist to the extent of deluding itself that there is superiority among human beings by reasons solely of color, race or religion. ~ Jane Bolin.


I am saddened and maddened even nearly half a century later to recall many of my Wellesley experiences, but my college days for the most part evoke sad and lonely personal memories. ~ Jane Bolin.

Families and children are so important to our society, and to dedicate your life to trying to improve their lives is completely satisfying. ~ Jane Bolin.


Those gains we have made were never graciously and generously granted. We have had to fight every inch of the way. ~ Jane Bolin.

It is easy to imagine how a young, protected child who sees portrayals of brutality is forever scarred and becomes determined to contribute in her own small way to social justice. ~ Jane Bolin.

We have to fight every inch of the way and in the face of sometimes insufferable humiliations. ~ Jane Bolin.

As time went by, I was embarrassed by it because it was years after I went on the bench before another African American woman went on the bench. ~ Jane Bolin.

So these were the 15 famous quotes about Jane Bolin.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Uma Thurman quotes and Ulrike Meinhof quotes.

Short Biography of Jane Bolin

Jane Bolin made history as the first African American woman to graduate from Yale Law School and to become a judge in the U.S. Appointed by New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia in 1939.


She served in the Family Court for 40 years advocating against racial discrimination and for the welfare of children especially those of color.

She was brought by her father who was a famous African American attorney. Bolin was influenced by her family’s commitment to social justice from an early age.

Full Name Jane Matilda Bolin
Occupation American attorney and judge
Achievements First black woman to graduate from Yale Law School, join the New York City Bar Association, and join the New York City Law Department
Born April 11, 1908, Poughkeepsie, New York, United States
Died January 8, 2007 (age 98 years), Queens, New York, United States
Parents Gaius C. Bolin, Matilda Ingram Emery
Spouse Walter P. Offutt Jr. (m. 1950–1974), Ralph E. Mizelle (m. 1933–1943)
Children Yorke Bolin Mizelle
Siblings Gaius Charles Bolin Jr.
Education Yale University, Yale Law School, Wellesley College

Even though she suffered racial discrimination herself during her time at Wellesley College, she remained dedicated to her career in law.

She made big changes in the court system such as integrating child services and ensuring that childcare agencies funded by the public did not discriminate based on ethnicity.

Bolin passed away in year 2007 at age 98 leaving behind a legacy of breaking barriers and fighting for equality in the legal system.

Quick Facts about Jane Bolin

  1. Jane Bolin was born on April 11, 1908 in Poughkeepsie New York as the youngest of four children.
  2. Her father Gaius C. Bolin was a pioneering black lawyer and the first black president of the Dutchess County Bar Association.
  3. After losing her mother at age eight Bolin excelled in education graduating with honors from Wellesley College in 1928 and becoming the first black woman to graduate from Yale Law School in 1931.
  4. Bolin started her law career in her hometown before moving to New York City where she practiced law with her husband Ralph E. Mizelle and later as Assistant Corporation Counsel for the city.
  5. In 1939 at the age of 31 Bolin was appointed by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia as a judge of the Domestic Relations Court making her the first black woman judge in the United States.
  6. Throughout her 40-year tenure Bolin advocated for children and families implementing policies to ensure fair treatment regardless of race or religion in probation and child care services.
  7. Bolin worked alongside Eleanor Roosevelt to support juvenile crime prevention efforts at the Wiltwyck School.
  8. She retired at 70 following a distinguished career that included multiple reappointments and honorary degrees from prestigious institutions.
  9. Post-retirement Bolin continued her advocacy volunteering in public schools and serving on various boards focused on children’s rights and education.
  10. Bolin passed away on January 8, 2007 leaving a lasting legacy through buildings named after her tributes from prominent judges and recognition in the US House of Representatives.

Top Questions about Jane Bolin (FAQs)

Who Is Jane Bolin?

Jane Bolin was a famous American attorney and judge.

When Was Jane Bolin Born?

She was born on April 11, 1908 in Poughkeepsie, New York, United States.

How Did Jane Bolin Die?

The cause of her death is not known.

What Did Jane Bolin Do?

She is well-known for her work on urban racism and ethnicity.

Where Did Jane Bolin Live?

She lived in Long Island City, Queens.

What Inspired Jane Bolin?

Jane Bolin was inspired by articles and images in The Crisis magazine about the unfair treatment of Black southerners.

Who Was Jane Bolin’s Mom?

Her mother was Matilda Ingram Emery, a white Englishwoman.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar