Barbara Jordan Biography
Barbara Jordan was a groundbreaking American politician, educator, and civil rights leader who was born on February 21, 1936, in Houston, Texas, and passed away on January 17, 1996. Jordan gained national recognition for her eloquent and powerful speeches, particularly her speech during the impeachment hearings of President Richard Nixon. Despite facing numerous hurdles, including racial and gender prejudice, Barbara Jordan
became a symbol of perseverance and courage for many Americans, particularly African Americans and women.
Growing up in the segregated South, Barbara Jordan
was raised in a religious, working-class African American family. She was the youngest of three daughters born to Benjamin and Arlyne Jordan. Her father was a Baptist minister and warehouse clerk, while her mother was an educator and skilled public speaker. Recognizing the importance of education, her parents inspired Jordan to pursue her studies and develop her natural talent for public speaking. This passion for learning led her to attend the all-black Texas Southern University, where she majored in political science and history. She later graduated magna cum laude in 1956.
After completing her undergraduate education, Jordan ventured to the northeast and earned a law degree from Boston University School of Law in 1959. Upon her return to Texas, she became one of the first African American women to practice law in the state. With a strong desire to enter public service, Jordan campaigned unsuccessfully for a Texas House of Representatives seat in both 1962 and 1964. However, her resilience eventually paid off when she was elected to the Texas State Senate in 1966, becoming the first African American woman to hold that position.
Jordan's tenure in the Texas State Senate was a period of substantial change in the state, as she played a key role in driving progressive policies covering civil rights, minimum wage, and workers' rights. In 1972, she was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Texas's 18th congressional district. As a member of Congress, Jordan's commitment to equal rights and social justice continued to guide her policy positions. She co-sponsored legislation that extended the Voting Rights Act, and she championed the renewal of the Civil Rights Act.
During the impeachment hearings of President Richard Nixon in 1974, Jordan's ability to captivate audiences with her poise, intellect, and moral conviction was evident. As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, she delivered a stirring speech in which she spoke of the importance of the U.S. Constitution and the need to defend it against the abuse of power. This moment solidified her place in American history.
Despite her successes, Barbara Jordan's career in national politics was ultimately limited by her battle with multiple sclerosis, which led her to retire from Congress in 1979. She went on to become a professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson
School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where she taught and continued to inspire new generations of young Americans.
In 1992, Jordan's remarkable life of public service was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, bestowed by President Bill Clinton. Barbara Jordan
was a trailblazer whose life and career broke barriers, leaving a lasting impact on American history and civil rights.
Our collection contains 34 quotes who is written / told by Barbara, under the main topic Equality
Related authors: Lyndon B. Johnson (President)