AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 14, 2013 -- In commemoration of Barbara Jordan Freedom Week, a gallery showcasing Barbara Jordan’s life will be on display in the rotunda of the Texas State Capitol Building. The week of Feb. 20-26 was established as Barbara Jordan Freedom Week by the 2011 Texas Senate.
Created from the archive housed at Texas Southern University, Barbara Jordan’s alma mater, with contributions from the LBJ School of Public Affairs, where she was professor for 17 years, the display is presented in conjunction with the Barbara Jordan Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded to continue Barbara Jordan’s fight against injustice.
The display is free and open to the public and offers an overview of her life from childbirth to her death in 1996 and includes displays on her time serving in the Texas State Senate, her famous speech at the Democratic National Convention in 1976, her involvement in the Watergate Impeachment hearings as a U.S. Congresswoman, and many other eras of her life.
A native of Houston, Barbara Jordan was born in 1936 in Houston’s 5th Ward. She majored in government studies and history at Texas Southern University and went on to law school in Boston. She was the first African American elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction and the first African American female from the South elected to the United States House of Representatives. After retiring from political life, Barbara Jordan became an adjunct professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin from 1979 until her death in 1996.
More on the Barbara Jordan Freedom Foundation:
The Barbara Jordan Freedom Foundation (BJFF) is a new organization dedicated to perpetuating the legacy of Barbara Jordan by inspiring America to achieve the promise of freedom and justice for all people, by promoting the success of children through early childhood opportunities and effective education, and by confronting injustices and inequities in the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems. The organization’s initial focus will be on issues related to school discipline.