“For all of its uncertainty, we cannot flee the future…. We must address and master the future together.”
Barbara Charline Jordan began her distinguished public service career with her election to the Texas Legislature in 1966. Jordan’s victory made her the first African American woman to serve in the Texas Senate and the first African-American elected to the body since 1883.
In 1972 she became the first African American woman from the South to be elected to the United States Congress, serving as a member of the House of Representatives until 1979. The highlights of Jordan’s legislative career include her landmark speech during Richard Nixon’s impeachment hearings in 1974, her successful efforts in 1975 to expand the Voting Rights Act to include language for minorities, and her keynote address to the Democratic National Convention in 1976.
From 1979 until her death in 1996, Jordan served as a distinguished professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) School (University of Texas), holding the LBJ Centennial Chair in National Policy. She was again a keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention in 1992. Jordan graduated from Texas Southern University, where she majored in Political Science. She received her law degree in 1959 from Boston University.