Judge Cassandra Hollemon, one of the 17 Black female judges who made history when they were elected to serve in Harris County, Texas, in November, has died at the age of 57.
Hollemon’s daughter, Brandy Hollemon, said her mother passed away Monday, about a week after being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, according to The Associated Press.
A member of the “Black Girl Magic” campaign, Hollemon was featured in a photo taken in 2017, which went viral. The image of 17 candidates and two other sitting Harris County judges inside a courtroom became an iconic moment. The two judges, who lost their bids for seats on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, retained their local judgeships.
Hollemon, a graduate of South Texas College of Law who practiced criminal law for more than 20 years, defeated Republican candidate John Spjut, taking over Harris County Criminal Court of Law 12. She also served on the Community Supervision and Pretrial Services Committee.
According to Fox 26 News, Hollemon was misdiagnosed with chronic bronchitis in December 2018.
Members of Black Girl Magic were devastated when hearing of Hollemon’s death.
“It’s very sad that after all of her hard work and diligence she will not get to experience the fullness of her term,” Harris County Court #15 Judge Tonya Jones told the news channel.
“She was 57. I’m still in my 30s. So I kind of considered her nurturing, kind of a mother figure,” said Harris County Criminal Court #3 Judge Erica Hughes.
Hollemon leaves behind a son, a daughter, and a granddaughter. Funeral services will take place on Saturday at Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Houston.