Lawyer, Educator, Politician, and Civil Rights Leader

Lawyer, Educator, Politician, and Civil Rights Leader

Written on 08/19/2023

Barbara Jordan spent a lifetime breaking racial and gender barriers. Most notably, she was the first African American US congresswoman to come from the deep South, the first female representative from Texas and the first African American woman elected to the Texas Senate. There had not been a black Texas state senator since 1883. A gifted orator, she famously delivered the keynote address at the 1976 Democratic National Convention -- the first black woman ever to do so.

In December 1977, Jordan announced that she would not be a candidate for reelection the following year. In 1979 she became a professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. In August 1994, President Bill Clinton awarded Ms. Jordan the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.


“If the society today allows wrongs to go unchallenged, the impression is created that those wrongs have the approval of the majority.” “If you're going to play the game properly you'd better know every rule.”

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