Barbara Jordan

Barbara Jordan was born in Houston's Fifth Ward in 1936, the daughter of a Baptist minister and domestic worker. Jordan attended Texas Southern University where she was a member of the debate team; she was the first woman to travel with the team, and along with debate partner Otis King, integrated tournaments in the South, consistently sweeping competitions. Jordan went on attend Boston University School of Law, finishing in 1959. After practicing private law in Houston, she entered the political arena. Jordan was the first African-American elected to the Texas Senate since 1883 and the first southern black female elected to the United States House of Representatives. In 1976, Jordan was the first African-American woman to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, a speech that is still lauded as one of the best in modern history. After retiring from politics in 1979, Jordan taught ethics at the University of Texas at Austin Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Among many other honors, Jordan was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994. In 1996, Barbara Jordan died of complications from pneumonia, a result of her battles with both multiple sclerosis and leukemia. She rests in the Texas State Cemetery, the first African-American woman to be buried there. 

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Thomas F. Freeman Collection, no. 70 - TSU Committee Meeting and Commencement (1968)
Home movie scenes of TSU committee meeting at El Chico International Restaurant followed by TSU commencem...
Thomas F. Freeman Collection, no. 71 - Barbara Jordan’s Honorary Doctorate Ceremony at TSU (197
Home movie footage of Barbara Jordan receiving an honorary doctorate at TSU, followed by a celebratory re...
Thomas F. Freeman Collection, no. 55 - Mt. Horem Silver Anniversary, Barbara Jordan (1976)
Home movie footage of Mt. Horem Baptist Church’s Silver Anniversary celebration where Barbara Jordan deli...
Thomas F. Freeman Collection, no. 13 - Barbara Jordan at TSU Honors Day Convocation (1970)
Home movie footage of Barbara Jordan delivering the keynote address at Texas Southern University’s 1970 H...
The Texas Experience - Barbara Jordan Presents Lyndon Baines Johnson
U.S. Representative Barbara Jordan presents an overview of Lyndon B. Johnson's political accomplishments
The KHOU-TV Collection - News Clips, September 23, 1972
KHOU-TV news clips from September 23, 1972
The KHOU-TV Collection - News Clips, April 14 - 17, 1968
KHOU news clips from April 1968, including a local memorial service for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. featur...
Meet the Negro Texan
1970s educational film featuring Barbara Jordan chronicling the historical contributions of black Texans
Dr. Freeman Reflects on His Relationship with Barbara Jordan
Dr. Freeman reflects on his work and long relationship with Barbara Jordan
Barbara Jordan Delivers the Democratic National Convention Keynote Address (1976)
Barbara Jordan delivers the keynote address at the 1976 Democratic National Convention
Barbara Jordan at the National Women’s Conference of 1977
Segments of Barbara Jordan’s keynote speech at the National Women’s Conference of 1977
A Simple Matter of Justice (1978)
Television special narrated by actress Jean Stapleton about the National Women’s Conference held in Houst...
1977 National Women's Conference: A Question of Choices
Film documenting the National Women’s Conference held in Houston in 1977