The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 56

JANE JUDAH

"I work seven days a week at it, building a
foundation."
Her goal, she says, "is not to be rich, but
to travel. Next year, I'd like to go to the
Bahamas, Poland, Barcelona, Bangkok. But
today, this is my home. It is safe with no
negatives. I like Roanoke. My clients are my
family. ... I am a citizen of this planet. My
only fear is that I might stop growing."

JANE JUDAH, co-owner of Court Accountings
LLC in Roanoke, does not feel like an
immigrant. But she was born and grew up
in a troubled and dangerous Jamaica, the
daughter of a Jamaican father (who took a
British law degree) and a British mom.
"In the 1970s," she says, "Jamaica became
very violent and everybody who could leave
left. The country was cracking up." Judah had
just finished her first year of high school when,
in 1976, the family immigrated to the U.S.
"We didn't know if we could get into the
U.S., but we did. I had an uncle who went
to Florida and one who went to Canada. We
wound up in Hot Springs" because a friend
of her father's lived there and suggested it.
Her dad had to pass the American bar before
he could work as a lawyer.
Her strong dialect, which she calls
"Southern Jamaican" set her apart for a
while and "nobody expected a blonde."
Most Jamaicans are of African descent. But
ultimately, she blended and found her way to
Roanoke College (sociology). "It was a whole

56

MARCH/APRIL 2020

STELLA XU

"I wanted a tolerant environment
where I could say what I wanted to."

-STELLA XU

new world. I'd had 13 subjects in high school,
but just six here." She became an American
citizen in 1993.
This past June, she married Curtis Worrell,
a financial consultant, and the family still
has a cottage in Jamaica. After school,
Judah worked for law firms as a bookkeeper,
paralegal, and firm administrator until she
and colleague, Ann Hodges, founded Court
Accounting in 2014. The company is involved
with the administration of estates, trusts and
conservatorships though its owners are not
lawyers.
"We created a monster" that lawyers told
them couldn't work, says Judah. "It's one of
two companies like it in Virginia. There's one
in Texas and one in California."
Both the Texas and California firms are
run by women.
For her, America was "a whole new world"
and continues to be so.

If STELLA XU had remained in China, she'd
probably "be a businesswoman [heading]
a trading company," she says. As it

turns out, she is a top-level academic,
teaching East Asian studies at Roanoke
College. She came to the U.S. in 1999 to
finish her master's degree and study for
a PhD, in "a more liberal environment"
than was offered in Beijing. She wound
up at Roanoke College in 2006, having
finished her book-length dissertation.
"I wanted a tolerant environment where
I could say what I wanted to," she says.
In 2016, she published her first book,
"Reconstructing Ancient Korean History."
"If I had studied in Asia, I would have
seen it from the inside. Here, I think I was
able to give a more nuanced view. ... In Asia,
it's hard to be too critical of your own history.
If you're in China, you have to take sides
with Asia."
Xu became a citizen in 2019. She's been
married for 20 years to Jason Bai and has
a nine-year-old son. At home, she speaks
"mostly Chinese," but "not to my son. I
want him to speak perfect English, so we
don't teach him Chinese at all." Ultimately,
though, she would like for him to speak
Chinese, she says.
Among the benefits of being an American,
she says, "travel is easy. With an American
passport, I can go to any of 184 countries
without a visa."
What does she miss? "Authentic Chinese
food," though the Red Palace at Valley View
Mall comes close, she says. She tries to visit
China once a year, but in her new life, she
says, "I'm very happy now." I

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The Roanoker - March/April 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - March/April 2020

The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - Intro
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - Cover1
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - Cover2
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 3
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 4
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 5
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 6
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 7
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 8
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 9
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 10
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 11
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 12
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 13
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 14
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 15
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 16
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 17
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 18
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 19
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 20
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 21
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 22
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 23
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 24
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 25
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The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 48
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 49
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 50
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 51
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The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 114
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - Cover3
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - Cover4
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