The First Black Woman Attorney General of Massachusetts Officially Sworn into Office

by Xara Aziz

The ambitious lawyer who captured the attention of Massachusetts voters during last year’s midterm elections has been officially sworn in as the state’s first Black woman Attorney General.

After taking oath, Andrea Campbell said that assuming the new role was an honor and she looks forward to working with her constituencies to build a better Massachusetts.

“I deeply understand the magnitude of this historic day and that it is more than a personal triumph,” she said at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. “My hope is that every day, women and young people who look like me and see the incredible work of this office will feel less invisible, despairing and lonely because there continues to be a shining example of what is possible.”

The newly minted top prosecutor vowed to form an elder justice unit, and an office for gun safety enforcement, among other key tasks. Furthermore, she wants to focus much of her efforts on tackling corruption.

“It’s not just the misappropriation of funds or elected officials, or public officials, who are not acting accordingly,” she said. “For me, it’s also criminal legal reform. It’s looking at our state agencies that are not meeting the mark, not transparent, and that may need to be held accountable. It’s a broad vision but it’s one that the office is fully capable of.”

It has been seven years since Campbell clinched a seat on the Boston City Council, where she materialized as a domineering force, and led her to become Boston’s first Black female city council president.

Following her feats, she says that her success has been based primarily because she stands “on the shoulders of a beautiful and resilient Black people who stood up for civil rights, for freedom, inclusion, love — including interracial love.”

Campbell’s story wasn’t all peachy. When she was just a little girl, her mother died in a car accident on the way to visit Campbell’s father in prison. Then her father died unexpectedly when she was 19 and her twin brother died while detained at the Department of Correction 10 years later. But despite early beginnings of trial and tribulations, she would be the first in her family to go to college, graduating from Princeton University and the UCLA School of Law, respectively.

“There are some who want us to feel shame in our stories or even try to weaponize them against us,” Campbell said. “My response is always twofold: no weapon formed against me will prosper, and because of our family history, struggle, encounters with the law and the legal system, our experiences, our realizations, it begs the question: who better to do the job, to take on the challenge and to do this critical work?”

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