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The Honorable Glenda Hatchett

Judge Glenda Hatchett was born on May 31, 1951 in Atlanta, Georgia to Clemmie Barnes and Paul Lawrence Hatchett. In 1969, Hatchett graduated from Charles Lincoln Harper High School, a segregated school in Atlanta’s Collier Heights. She received her B.A. degree in political science from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts in 1973, and went on to obtain her J.D. degree from Emory University School of Law in Atlanta in 1977.

After completing a federal clerkship in the United States District Court in the Northern District of Georgia, Hatchett worked in the legal department at Delta Air Lines, Inc. As a senior attorney, she represented the company in labor and anti-trust cases, and participated in merger negotiations. She was then promoted to manager of Delta’s public relations department, handling global crisis management and media relations for the U.S., Europe and Asia. In 1991, upon her appointment to the Fulton County Juvenile Court, Hatchett became the first African American chief judge of a state court. In collaboration with the Atlanta Bar Association and Alston & Bird, Hatchett helped found the Truancy Intervention Project, an early intervention program for truant children. In 1998, Hatchett resigned from the Fulton County Juvenile Court to spend time with her two children before accepting an offer from Sony Pictures Television to have her own television show, Judge HatchettJudge Hatchett ran between 2000 and 2008. In 2014, Hatchett created her own national law firm, The Hatchett Firm, focused on wrongful death, catastrophic injury, medical malpractice, product liability, class action, premises liability and social security cases. Concerned about police brutality against African American men, Hatchett announced that she would represent Philando Castile’s family in 2016.

While filming Judge Hatchett, Hatchett released her first self-help book, Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say!: Saving Your Child from a Troubled World. She released her second book, Dare to Take Charge: How to Live Your Life on Purpose, in 2012. In addition to her civic contributions, Hatchett received numerous awards, including the Roscoe Pound Award, the National Council on Crime and Delinquency’s highest recognition, and the NAACP Thurgood Marshall Award. The Girl Scouts of the United States of America named Hatchett one of its 10 National Women of Distinction. She also served on multiple boards, including the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons’ Board of Advisors.

Judge Glenda Hatchett was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 5, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.043

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/5/2016

Last Name

Hatchett

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Anderson Park Elementary School

Charles Lincoln Harper High School

Mount Holyoke College

Emory University School of Law

First Name

Glenda

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

HAT02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

Great Day.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

5/31/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Judge Glenda Hatchett (1951 - ) became the first African American chief judge of a state court when she was appointed to the Fulton County Juvenile Court in 1991. She was featured in her own television show, Judge Hatchett, and in 2014, founded the national law firm, The Hatchett Firm.

Employment

Emory University School of Law

United States District Court - Northern District of Georgia

Delta Air Lines, Inc.

Fulton County Juvenile Court

Columbia/Tri-Star Television

11Alive Atlanta

The Hatchett Firm

Entertainment Studios, Inc.

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Glenda Hatchett's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett talks about her maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett describes her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett remembers her father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett talks about her father's experiences at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett describes her experiences at Anderson Park Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett reflects upon her father's lessons about racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett describes her early experiences of religion

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett remembers her mentors at Anderson Park Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett talks about her extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett describes her experiences of segregation in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett describes her experiences at Charles Lincoln Harper High School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett remembers leading a walkout at Charles Lincoln Harper High School

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett talks about her achievements during high school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett talks about her community in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett recalls her summer program at Phillips Exeter Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett describes her decision to attend Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett remembers her freshman roommate at Mount Holyoke College

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett recalls the integration of the University of Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett describes her experiences at Mount Holyoke College

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett talks about her social life at Mouth Holyoke College

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett remembers her professors at Mount Holyoke College

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Glenda Hatchett remembers studying under Max Roach

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$2

DAStory

5$5

DATitle
The Honorable Glenda Hatchett recalls the integration of the University of Georgia
The Honorable Glenda Hatchett reflects upon her father's lessons about racial discrimination
Transcript
And I must add an important piece to this. Hamilton Holmes was my next door neighbor, who was the first black student, he and [HistoryMaker] Charlayne Hunter-Gault, the two first black students to integrate the University of Georgia [Athens, Georgia].$$Yes.$$So--$$Right, right.$$--I had gone through all of that with--Hamp was like my big brother, you know, much, much older, but still my, you know, somebody I looked up to and just deeply admired. And because I had younger brothers [Paul Hatchett, Jr. and Kolen Hatchett], it was like having all these older brothers right next door, 'cause there were like four Holmes brothers, Hamp being the oldest, and loved him to the bone. And I can still remember my father [Paul Hatchett, Sr.] rushing into the house, because literally we lived in a cul-de-sac, and they're the only two houses in the cul-de-sac. If you're facing our house, their house was to the left. And our house was kind of on an, a more of an incline, the, the, the way that, to main--the, the, the let--what do you call it?$$Trajectory of the land?$$Yeah, get (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Or the terrain?$$Terrain, the terrain of the land was kind of, it sloped down, so our house sat higher, and our house was a split level. Their house was, the main level was all on one level. So we could see the street that fed into our neighborhood [Collier Heights, Atlanta, Georgia]. So, really, there was two, there were only two streets that came into our neighborhood. It's a very small neighborhood, a cul-de-sac on one end, which is one where we lived, and a cul-de-sac at the other end, and then the main street that was parallel to our street was--I could see from my parents' bedroom window. My father ran in and said, "Clemmie [Clemmie Barnes Hatchett], they're sending them home," right. And my mother said, "You know, stay here," dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. She rushed over to see about Mrs. Holmes [Isabella Holmes]. The men in our community stood vigil, they did, because at that point you didn't know who to trust on the, trust on the police force [Atlanta Police Department] and all of that. You just didn't know how they were gonna be protected. And I remember looking out of the front bedroom window when they pulled up with Charlayne and Hamp. And the men held coats to make a tent to get them in the house, right. And just the tension, and my father told me to go and stand in their bedroom, my parents' bedroom window, so I had a clear shot of the cars coming down, "Oh no," and to let him know if I saw cars that--'cause you know, everybody knew everybody in the neighborhood--that I didn't, that I, that I didn't recognize. That's how tense that situation was. Years later, I guess two years ago now, it was my honor, I mean special privilege, to be invited by the University of Georgia to do the Holmes-Hunter Lecture series, that I did the lecture. And I stood up, and I had to get my composure, because for me it was very personal, deeply personal to have lived through that as a kid and watching, watching that happen, and understanding the courage that it took not just for Hamp and Charlayne but for the families and you know, and for the neighbors and just the, the love and support of, you know, we're here, and they did. They, you know, the community just was a very small neighborhood all stood by him, you know, very proud of him. And then, of course, he went on to be the first black to, to finish Emory medical school [Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia], you know. And just, I was heartbroken when he died. He died much too early, much too soon.$My father [Paul Hatchett, Sr.] said, "She's right. Colored children don't get new books." Well, I didn't understand that. And he said to me, "So I want you to go into your room and get your box of crayons," I had a little red table with two red chairs. And he said, "I want you to sit down and write your own story." I didn't get that at six, oh, but baby, I got it now, because my father in his wisdom knew that he and my mother [Clemmie Barnes Hatchett] couldn't fix a society where colored children were not treated equally like they should have been and that even though there were decisions coming down from the [U.S.] Supreme Court that clearly hadn't made it down to my little elementary school [Anderson Park Elementary School] in Atlanta, Georgia, and this is what happened. He said, "Write your own story." I've used that story in motivational speeches all over the country to say that he didn't let me linger at the pity party about what I didn't have. He told me to go on and write my story. And so what I do is I use that story to say that in my father's wisdom, although they couldn't protect me from, from this society and what was happening to colored children and colored people in that area, he couldn't fix the society, but he could fix me. And that is the lesson that he poured into me, that I had to write my own story. And again, I didn't get it in first grade.$$Now, now--$$But I so--$$--I'm, I'm thinking that you had books in, at home, I would guess (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Oh, I had books at home which is how I knew how to read. You know, I, I, I--my parents taught me to read before I went to school, so I had books at home.$$Yeah--$$You know--$$--that, that seemed like a major community issue to be brought to the City of Atlanta. I mean, (unclear)--$$They didn't (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) schools, they didn't have any books--$$They didn't care. And my parents paid the same amount of taxes as the white children's parents, but that is how things operated, you know, when I was, when I was young. And so it, it was, it was a issue, but you know, the school board is all white; the mayor is all white; the city council [Atlanta City Council] is all white, you know. I mean, there was--it wasn't until there got to be more momentum in the Civil Rights Movement that these things became--you know, but I had horrible, horrible facilities and, and, and, and you know, just thrown out stuff.$$Yeah.$$The school building wasn't so horrible, but the fa- you know, but we had to work with. But the lesson was: when you hit hard places, when you hit hard places in your life, and there are gonna be torn pages in life's book, whether it's racism or sexism or ageism, or whatever-ism, you know, poverty, whatever it is, that's when you have to write your own story, that's when you have to dig deep and not continue to function as a victim, but how do you figure out how you're gonna be victorious. And that is a valuable gift that my father gave me. And in honor of him, when I was a commencement speaker--what year was that? I'll have to think of that in a minute--at Clark Atlanta University [Atlanta, Georgia], I told that class that story because I said that that was such a special gift from my father, because see, I was told I could do anything. I did not grow up believing that being a little colored girl in the Deep South was a curse, 'cause my daddy told me; my mama told--you know, I heard positive reinforcement from my teachers and people at church [Providence Missionary Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia] and my neighbors, and you know, and so I grew up believing that, that I could do anything, you know. And that is the message that I think that people have to hear from my dad's story, my dad's gift, my life lesson, is that we have to write our own stories--$$Sure. Did (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) and why I'm so honored to be interviewed by HistoryMakers [The HistoryMakers], because you're preserving--$$Well, it's--the honor is ours (laughter).$$--our stories.