A Work Marked By Equality

A firm believer of the spirit of democracy found within the contours of the U.S. Constitution, Barbara Jordan aroused the conscience of a nation.  The Lyndon B. Johnson School Professor of Ethics and Political Values most known for her deep, jagged voice was born in the heat of Jim Crow.  Despite these prejudicial laws, Jordan sustained her love and faith for a democracy that did not express the same love and faith in return.  When the Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution in 1787, people of African descent could not be citizens of the United States.  But Jordan knew full well that the saving grace about the dynamic document was that it was self-corrective.  Nearly a century after the draft of the Constitution, the protection of individual civil and political rights was extended to black Americans when the United States adopted the Fourteenth Amendment which nullified the Dred Scott decision (1857). Such rights found in the Constitution allowed Jordan to be a pioneer on many occasions.  Barbara Jordan was the first black American to serve in the Texas Senate since Reconstruction.  She was the first black American woman from the South to serve in the United States Congress; the first woman and first black American to give the keynote speech at a Democratic National Convention (1976); and the first black American woman interred in the Texas State Cemetery.  Still, despite...

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