Alli Majeed Celebrates 50 Years in America

Senior Judge Alli “A.B.” Majeed is known for his love of America and his efforts to instill that view on people he meets.

So, as the native of Guyana approaches the 50th anniversary of his move to the United States, Majeed is celebrating the milestone this weekend at a large gathering with friends and family.

In discussing his passion about living in the United States, Majeed said: “America has opened her welcoming arms to me, and, in return, I have spent much of my time extolling the many virtues of this great nation. I’ve never been shy about expressing that gratitude.”

America “let my hopes and dreams come true,” said Majeed, a 72-year-old resident of West Melbourne.

“He’s quite a patriot,” said retired Judge Edward Richardson, who spent a total of 26 years on the bench as a Circuit Court judge in Brevard and Seminole counties and as a senior judge. “He’s a great guy. And he’s a classic example of the American Dream.”

Majeed was born in the former British colony of Guyana, South America, to parents who are descendants of indentured servants from India. His parents farmed rice paddies, and he worked the fields himself while growing up in Guyana.

When a high school opened in his village in Guyana, it enabled Majeed to continue his education.

A graduate of Howard University and the Catholic University of America Columbus Law School, Majeed began his legal career in 1979, serving indigent clients and supervising staff at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia. Majeed later worked as a criminal attorney, assistant public defender and assistant state attorney before becoming a judge. He was a Brevard County Court judge for 24 years.

Majeed was the first person of color elected to a countywide office in Brevard County.

He retired as a county judge in 2016 because he was not able to run for re-election due to state mandatory retirement rules for judges. But he still serves as a senior judge, filling in on the bench in the 18th and 19th Circuit, along Florida’s East Coast.

Richardson, who now lives in Colorado, said he first interacted with Majeed when Majeed appeared before him as a felony prosecutor working for the state attorney’s office. They later served at the same time period on the bench — Richardson in Circuit Court and Majeed in County Court.

Richardson said he found Majeed to be “very ethical” as a prosecutor in his efforts to seek justice, realizing that “justice in every case is not just seeking a conviction.”

As a judge, Richardson said Majeed was “very respectful to everyone in his courtroom.”

And now, Richardson said, as a senior judge, Majeed continues to pursue speaking engagements to talk about “his love for this wonderful country we live in.”

Retired attorney Bill Potter of Indialantic said Majeed’s message is important for people to hear.

“During these days, when we hear so many xenophobic statements based on fear and ignorance, we should see Judge Majeed as a reaffirmation of the values to which the U.S. has aspired.” Potter said. “I know of no American who better represents and understands those aspirational values and who inspires us to heed what Lincoln described as ‘the better angels of our nature.’ ”

When he was a Brevard County Court judge, Majeed often was the judge to address the pool of people who were called to jury duty to orient them and tell them his thoughts about the importance of serving on a jury. It’s a role Majeed cherished, and one that made a lasting impression on people who have heard his message.

U.S. Rep. Bill Posey of Rockledge describes Majeed’s addresses to jurors as “extraordinarily memorable.”

“I don’t know that I have ever heard patriotism more passionately described,” Posey said. “His heartfelt and informative remarks to prospective jurors were always followed by a clearly noticeable change in jurors’ attitudes. Those who previously dreaded the call to jury duty became enthusiastic about the responsibility.”

Reflecting back on his half-century in the United States, Majeed said: “The year man landed on the moon, I landed in America. After 50 years, I feel a great sense of gratitude to this nation.”

Source: Florida Today

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