Today I would like to turn your attention to Barbara C. Jordan. She was the first African American elected from the deep south, and the first congresswoman from that area since 1883.

Jordan was born on February 21, 1936, in Houston Texas. She graduated from Phyllis Wheatley high school in 1952. In 1956, she earned her B.A from Texas Southern University, and her law degree in 1959 from Boston University. In 1960, she began to practice law.


She worked on the John F. Kennedy campaign in 1960 as well, and that’s when her political work came about. She organized a “get out and vote” campaign as well. She ran for the Texas House of Representatives in 1962 and 1964, but lost both times.

In 1966, she ran for Texas Senate, and won. She won over the other senators, showing them that she was worthy of the position. She helped with the passing of bills, establishing minimum wage for the state, and the Texas Fair Employment Practices Commission.


She was the first black woman to preside over a legislative body. She also became the first black chief executive in 1972. In 1974, she gave a 15 minute opening statement of the impeachment hearing for Richard Nixon.

In 1976, she delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, which made her the first African American to do so.

Although Jordan battled multiple sclerosis, she continued to work hard for equal rights and opportunites. Jordan never married, and kept her personal life private. She died on January 17, 1996 in Texas from pneumonia.

Read more about Barbara C. Joran at


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