Barbara Jordan

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Barbara Jordan, (February 21, 1936 – January 17, 1996) was a lawyer, educator, an American politician and a leader of the Civil Rights movement. She was the first Southern black female elected to the United States House of Representatives, and the first African-American woman to deliver a keynote address at a Democratic Party National Convention. She authored (with Shelby Hearon) the autobiography Barbara Jordan: A Self-Portrait (1979). Jordan died at the age of 59 due to complications from pneumonia on January 17, 1996, in Austin, Texas. She is buried in the Texas State Cemetery.

Quotes[edit]

  • Earlier today we heard the beginning of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States. ‘We the people.’ It is a very eloquent beginning. But, when that document was completed on the seventeenth of September in 1787, I was not included in that ‘We, the people.’ I felt somehow for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton just left me out by mistake. But, through the process of amendment, interpretation, and court decision, I have finally been included in ‘We, the people.’
    • Statement before the House Judiciary Committee considering impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon (25 July 1974). (See External links)
  • My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total. I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution.
    • Statement before the House Judiciary Committee considering impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon (25 July 1974). (See External links)
  • A spirit of harmony will survive in America only if each of us remembers that we share a common destiny; if each of us remembers, when bitterness and self-interest seem to prevail, that we share a common destiny.
    • Keynote address, Democratic National Convention, New York (12 July 1976). (see External links)
  • What people want is simple. They want an America as good as its promise.
    • Commencement Address, Harvard University (16 June 1977), as cited in Let me tell you what I've learned: Texas Wisewomen Speak, PJ Pierce, University of Texas Press (2010), p. 16
  • You need a core inside you—a core that directs everything you do. You confer with it for guidance. It is not negotiable.
    • Scott Williams, “Jordan Praises Stockman,” Daily Texan (23 November 1981), as cited in Let me tell you what I've learned: Texas Wisewomen Speak, PJ Pierce, University of Texas Press (2010), p. 17
  • This country can ill afford to continue to function using less than half of its human resources, less than half its kinetic energy, less than half its brain power.
    • Keynote address, Democratic National Convention (13 July 1992). (see External links)
  • Those who hold the public trust must adhere to the highest ethical standards there are. The job requires it, and the public must demand it.
    • Remarks at the University of Texas at Austin (22 February 1991), as cited in Let me tell you what I've learned: Texas Wisewomen Speak, PJ Pierce, University of Texas Press (2010), p. 17
  • There is no obstacle in the path of young people who are poor or members of minority groups that hard work and preparation cannot cure.
  • It was immigration that taught us, it does not matter where you came from, or who your parents were. What counts is who you are.
    • Speaking as chair of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform. Quoted by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) speaking before the U.S. House of Representatives “Tribute to the Late Hon. Barbara Jordan,” Congressional Record (24 January 1996), as cited in Let me tell you what I've learned: Texas Wisewomen Speak, PJ Pierce, University of Texas Press (2010), p. 17

External links[edit]

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