Clarke County Court Justice Judge Toby Bartee reflects on Black History Month

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 5:51 PM CST
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QUITMAN, Miss. (WTOK) - As we welcome in the month of February, News 11 also wants to celebrate and recognize Black History Month.

Black History Month is a time where we pay tribute to African Americans by honoring their triumphs and acknowledging their struggles throughout U.S. history.

In Clarke County, Court Justice Judge Toby Bartee was the first African American elected as a judge in the county and talks about how important Black History is to him.

“Dr. King was a major factory in me wanting to be a judge. I always wanted to be a Civil Rights leader. I wanted to prove that even being Black and sitting on the bench being a judge never was on necessarily making history, even though I did. My focus was on making a difference because there’s no history if there’s not change. So, I think by me having an opportunity, I am obligated, and I am indebted by those who paved the way for me to be here,” said Judge Bartee.

Judge Bartee became a judge in 1995 and will be retiring at the end of the year.

East Mississippi and west Alabama have several other stories of bravery, inspiration and achievements by African Americans.

News 11 will spotlight several stories as a part of our Black History special airing on Sunday, February 12 at 4:30 p.m.