Kane’s first African American judge leaves legacy - Aurora Beacon News: Sixteenth Judicial Circuit Judge F. Keith Brown put on his judicial robe one last time to preside over a few cases, handling an emergency order and a few pretrial issues, in Room 340 of the old Geneva courthouse.
He officially retires July 5 but wrapped up his court call last week.
Brown first put on the black robe in 1991 when he was named as an associate judge, making history as Kane County’s first African American judge.
The 16th Circuit, from state’s attorneys to defense attorneys to bailiffs and even the maintenance department, lacked minority representation in the early 1990s, he said. “There were very few positive role models who were people of color,” Brown said.
Today, there are more African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans throughout the judicial system as well as women, who were also underrepresented. Brown has supported female judges and mentored many of those new judges.