Today’s Black Fact:
Barbara Charline Jordan was an American politician and a leader of the Civil Rights movement. She was the first African American elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction and the first southern black female elected to the United States House of Representatives. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among numerous other honors. She received extensive support from former President Lyndon B. Johnson, who helped her secure a position on the House Judiciary Committee. In 1974, she made an influential, televised speech before the House Judiciary Committee supporting the impeachment of Richard Nixon, Johnson’s successor as President. In 1976, Jordan, mentioned as a possible running mate to Jimmy Carter of Georgia, became instead the first African-American woman to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. Her speech in New York that summer was ranked 5th in “Top 100 American Speeches of the 20th century” list and was considered by some historians to have been among the best convention keynote speeches in modern history. On her death she became the first African-American woman to be buried in the Texas State Cemetery.