Barbara Jordan was born in Houston’s Fifth Ward in 1936 and attended segregated schools until she enrolled at Boston University Law School. In 1966, she began her historic political career when she became the first African American woman elected to the Texas Senate. Six years later, she won election to the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first African American woman from a southern state to serve in the body. Jordan mastered the art of political compromise but never wavered in her commitment to the Constitution. More»

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Meeting with civil rights leaders, February 13, 1967. (From l to r:) Andy Biemillier (Legislative Director, AFL-CIO); Texas State Senator Barbara Jordan; and John Doar (Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice). LBJ Presidential Library photo by Yoichi Okamoto.