Celebrating Black History Month – Barbara Jordan
In honor of National Black History Month, The Elder Law Center of Kirson & Fuller is proud to feature African Americans that have impacted the nation through jurisprudence.
Barbara Jordan was born in Texas in 1936 and attended Texas Southern University. After graduating from Boston University School of Law in 1959, she immediately made history as one of only three African-American women to pass the bar and practice law in her home state of Texas. She opened her own firm, but soon dived into politics through John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign. In 1967, Jordan was elected to the Texas Senate—making her the first African-American state senator since the Reconstruction era and the first African-American woman to be in her position.
Her political aspirations did not stop there. Five years later, Jordan joined the U.S. House of Representatives as the first Southern African-American congresswoman. She served on the House Judiciary Committee, leading to her memorable questioning during the Watergate impeachment hearings.
With a reputation as one of the greatest orators, in 1976, she also became the first African-American woman to give a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. Jordan left Congress in 1979, opting instead to lecture at the University of Texas at Austin. She battled multiple sclerosis for most of her life and died in 1996 from a complication of leukemia.