Statue honors Tennessee’s 1st African-American chief justice

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A statue honoring Adolpho A. Birch Jr., the first African-American chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, is being dedicated in Nashville.

The statue will be dedicated Aug. 27 to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Justice A.A. Birch Building.

Birch spent 37 years in the judiciary, also serving at the general sessions, trial and intermediate appellate levels.

The statue will be an 8-foot bronze sculpture placed in the plaza outside the front of the Birch Building, which houses the general sessions and criminal courts in Nashville. The statue was designed by sculptor Brian Hanlon.

Birch was appointed to the state Supreme Court in 1993 by then-Gov. Ned McWherter and served there until retiring in 2006, including as chief justice in 1996 and 1997. He died in 2011 at 78.