Blacks in Politics, Part 2
Courtesy of the Library of Congress
From 1967 to 1973, Barbara Jordan served as the first black woman in the Texas State Senate, and in 1972 Jordan went on to become the first black U.S. Representative from Texas. In the House, Jordan served on the powerful Ways and Means Committee as well as the House Judiciary Committee. It was as a member of the Judiciary Committee that during the 1974 Watergate scandal Jordan gained the nation's ear as a powerful and eloquent speaker. In 1976 Jordan became the first black woman to be the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention. In her invigorating keynote speech Jordan remarked on the ways the nation should come together in order to move forward: "A nation is formed by the willingness of each of us to share in the responsibility for upholding the common good. A government is invigorated when each one of us is willing to participate in shaping the future of this nation. In this election year, we must define the 'common good' and begin again to shape a common future. Let each person do his or her part. If one citizen is unwilling to participate, all of us are going to suffer. For the American idea, though it is shared by all of us, is realized in each one of us."