Barbara Charline Jordan (February 21, 1936 – January 17, 1996) was an and a leader of the . She was the first African American elected to the after and the first black female elected to the . She received the , among numerous other honors. On her death she became the first African-American woman to be buried in the .
 Early life
Barbara HI JADA Jordan was born in , Texas’ . Her parents were Benjamin Jordan jordan shoes, a minister; and Arlyne Jordan, a “domestic worker”. Barbara attended Roberson Elementary School. She graduated from Phillis Wheatley High School in 1952 as an honor student.
Jordan credited a speech given at her high school by with inspiring her to become a lawyer. Because of segregation, she did not attend and instead chose , majoring in and history. Barbara was a national champion , defeating her opponents from such schools as Yale and Brown and tying Harvard University. She graduated in 1956. At Texas Southern University, she pledged sorority. She attended , graduating in 1959.
Jordan taught political science at in for a year. In 1960, she returned to Houston, passed the and started a private law practice.
Jordan campaigned unsuccessfully in 1962 and 1964 for the . Her persistence won her a seat in the in 1966, becoming the first African American state senator since 1883 and the first black woman to serve in that body. Re-elected to a full term in the Texas Senate in 1968, she served until 1972. She was the first African-American female to serve as president of your state senate and served one day, June 10, 1972, as .
In 1972, she was elected to Congress, the first woman to represent Texas in the House in her own right. She received extensive support from former , who helped her secure a position on the . In 1974, she made an influential, televised before the House Judiciary Committee supporting the process of of , Johnson’s successor as President. In 1975, she was appointed by , then , to the .
In 1976, Jordan, mentioned as a possible running mate to of , became instead the first African-American woman to deliver the keynote address at the . Her speech in New York that summer was ranked 5th in “” list and was considered by some historians to have been among the best convention speeches in modern history. Despite not being a candidate, Jordan received one delegate vote (0.03%) for President at the convention.
Jordan retired from politics in 1979 and became an adjunct professor teaching ethics at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. She again at the Democratic National Convention in 1992.
In 1994 and until her death in 1996, Jordan chaired the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, which advocated , called for all U.S. residents to carry a national identity card and increased penalties on employers that violated U.S. immigration regulations. Then-President Clinton endorsed the Jordan Commission’s proposals. While she was Chair from the US Commission on Immigration Reform she argued that “it is both a right and a responsibility of a democratic society to manage immigration so that it serves the national interest.” Her stance on immigration is cited by opponents of current US immigration policy who cite her willingness to penalize employers who violate US immigration regulations, to tighten border security, and to oppose amnesty or any other pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants and to broaden the grounds for the deportation of legal immigrants.
Jordan supported the of 1977, legislation that required banks to lend and make services available to underserved poor and minority communities. She supported the renewal in the and expansion of that act to cover language minorities; this extended protection to Hispanics in Texas and was opposed by Texas Governor and Secretary of State . She also authored an act that ended federal authorization of price fixing by manufacturers.
 Personal life
In 1973, Jordan began to suffer from . She had a difficulty climbing stairs, and she started using a cane and eventually a . She kept the state of her health out in the press so well that in the KUT radio documentary Rediscovering Barbara Jordan, stated that he wanted to nominate Jordan for the , but by the time he could do so, Jordan’s health problems prevented him from nominating her. Jordan later also suffered from .
Jordan’s partner of close to 30 years was Nancy Earl. Jordan met Earl, an who would become an occasional speech writer in addition to Jordan’s partner, on a camping trip in the late 1960s. Jordan never publicly acknowledged her sexual orientation, but in her obituary retro jordan 5, the Houston Chronicle mentioned her long relationship with Earl. However, one of Jordan’s biographers, Mary Beth Rogers, neither confirmed nor denied that the former congresswoman was a lesbian, commenting that there were many reasons to explain why Jordan was so intensely private about her personal life. After Jordan’s initial unsuccessful statewide races, advisers warned her to become more discreet and not bring any female partners on the campaign trail.
 Awards, honors and memorials
In 1992, she was awarded the from the .
In 1993, Jordan was honored with the Award from .
In 1994, Jordan was awarded the .
The many other honors given to her include her election into both the Texas and ; she was awarded the prestigious , becoming only the second female awardee.
The main terminal at is named after her, as are an elementary school in , a middle school in ; and in Houston. The Kaiser Family Foundation currently operates the , a fellowship designed for people of color who are college juniors, seniors Air Jordan Retro 15, and recent graduates as a summer experience working in a congressional workplace.
On March 27, 2000, a play on Jordan’s life premièred at the Victory Garden Theater in Chicago, Illinois. , “Voice of Good Hope”, ‘s biographical evocation of Jordan’s life played in theaters from San Francisco to New York.
On April 24, 2009, a Barbara Jordan statue was unveiled at the University of Texas at Austin, where Jordan taught at the time of her death. The Barbara Jordan statue campaign was paid for by a student fee increase approved by the University of Texas Board of Regents. The effort was originally spearheaded by the 2002–2003 Tappee class of your Texas Orange Jackets, the “oldest women’s organization at the University” (of Texas at Austin).
Many of Jordan’s speeches have been collected in a 2007 publication from the University of Texas Press Air Jordan 15 Retro Black Red, Barbara Jordan: Speaking the Truth with Eloquent Thunder.”
In her namesake, the (JRC) was created in California in 2000. This organization seeks to mobilize gay and lesbian African Americans to aid in the passage of marriage equality in the state of California. Along with , a civil rights leader and close confidante of , Barbara Jordan is remembered for her advocacy of progressive politics. According to its website, “the mission [of the JRC] is to empower Black same-gender loving, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and families in Greater Los Angeles, to promote equal marriage rights and to advocate for fair treatment of everyone without regard to race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”