Starting as state senator from Texas, Barbara Jordan was elected to the United States Congress (the first African-American congresswoman from the South), giving dedicated years of service, not the least of which was on the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment of President Nixon. She also taught at the University of Texas. Last year at that university, a statue in tribute to her was unveiled. See photo here.
Here are some great quotes from Barbara Jordan:
Doesn’t this one sound like the current election? “But this is the great danger America faces. That we will cease to be one nation and become instead a collection of interest groups: city against suburb, region against region, individual against individual. Each seeking to satisfy private wants.”
And this? “One thing is clear to me: We, as human beings, must be willing to accept people who are different from ourselves.”
And how about: “Let each person do his or her part. If one citizen is unwilling to participate, all of us are going to suffer. For the American idea, though it is shared by all of us, is realized in each one of us.”
She was definitely an inspiration.
There’s information about her at the National Women’s Hall of Fame and at the New York Public Library Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Here are some books by and about her: