Barbara Jordan was born in Houston, Texas on February 21, 1936. Barbara became a teacher and then an attorney. Following that she was elected the first African American congresswoman from 1972-1978. She was the first elected congresswoman from the South as well as elected for the Texas Senate in 1966. She was invited to the White House by Lyndon Johnson. The invitation was extended for her to preview the 1967 civil rights message.
Barbara Jordan early life was a groundbreaking for African American politician. This was a long-time dream for her that she worked hard to achieve. She grew up in an unfortunate black neighborhood in Houston, Texas. She was also a daughter of a Baptist preacher. She was always encourage by her parents to strive for academic excellence. She had a gift for English and constructing arguments that apparent in high school which she the award winning debater and orator.
In 1956, Barbara Jordan graduated from Texas Southern University. Her studies continued at Boston University Law School. During that time she was one of the few blacks in the program for Law. After earning her degree for Law Jordan return Texas to setup her law practice. Her practice started out of her parent’s home and from then on she became an active politics. She campaign for the democratic presidential ticket for John F. Kennedy and fellow Texan Lyndon B. Johnson. Her first bid for office was in 1962. She was seeking an election for the Texas Legislature. It took her 2 elections to run in order for her to make history.
Her political career started in 1966. Jordan eventually won the seat for Texas legislature, making her the first black woman to win the Senate seat. Like anything else during that time, she did not receive a warm welcome from her colleagues. But she did eventually won some of them over. Barbara pursued her win to improve the lives of her constituents. She did this by assistant with the first law on minimum wage. Barbara also created the Texas Fair Employment Practices Commission. Her colleagues voted her as president pro tempore of the state senate. This was the first for an African American to hold this post.
In 1972 Jordan won the election to the U.S. House of Representatives. She was thrust into the national spotlight while serving in the house the Judiciary Committee, during the Watergate scandal. She became a moral compass during the crisis, which called for the impeachment of then president Richard Nixon for his involvement in this illegal political endeavors. “I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution,” she said in a nationally televised speech during the proceedings.
Jordan once capture the public attentions with her keynote address during the 1976 Democratic National Convention. She told the crowd, “My presence her…is one additional bit of evidence that the American dream need not forever be deferred.” She had hoped to close the position of U.S. attorney general within Jimmy Carter’s administration after he won the democratic election. But Carter had presented the post to someone else.
Jordan finished her final term in 1979 after announcing that she will not seek re-election. After her career she decided to take some time to reflect on her life and political career. Composing her as A Self-Portrait in 1979. From then on, she soon turned her focus towards educating the future generations of…