Statue dedication honoring late Justice Birch held Saturday

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A dedication ceremony was held in downtown Nashville Saturday for a statue honoring Justice Adolpho Birch.

The statue was unveiled during the dedication at the 10-year anniversary of the Justice A. A. Birch Building on Second Avenue.

The event included speeches from various dignitaries, those Birch mentored and his family.

After months of fundraising, the 8 foot memorial stands in front of the building that already bears his name in downtown Nashville. News 2’s Anne Holt served as emcee for the festivities.

About Justice Adolpho Birch

Justice Birch began his legal career in the 1960s. In his early years as a civil rights attorney, he represented students who had been jailed for conducting sit-ins at Nashville’s segregated lunch counters.

By 1969, he was appointed as a general sessions judge in Davidson County, making him the first African-American to ever serve on the bench.

“He had everything it takes to reach the level that he did and he demonstrated to a lot of people that others can do it as well,” Judge Monte Watkins said.

During his career, Birch mentored numerous attorneys, including General Sessions Judge Rachel Bell.

“He showed me that community activism, working for the people, working for society is part of justice too,” she said.

Justice Birch’s accomplishments were recognized in 2006 after the courthouse was named the A.A. Birch Criminal Justice Building.

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