CELEBRATING BARBARA CHARLINE JORDAN
Barbara Charline Jordan (February 21, 1936 – January 17, 1996) was an American lawyer, educator and politician. At Texas Southern University she majored in political science and history, graduating magna cum laude in 1956. A leader of the Civil Rights Movement, she was the first African American elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction, the first Southern African-American woman elected to the United States House of Representatives.
She was best known for her eloquent opening statement at the House Judiciary Committee hearings during the impeachment process against Richard Nixon. She was the first African-American woman to deliver a keynote address at a Democratic National Convention. Jordan also served as chair of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among numerous other honors. She was a member of the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors from 1978 to 1980.