Barbara Jordan, born and raised in a Houston, Texas, ghetto, became active in politics working for John F. Kennedy"s presidential campaign in 1960. She served in the Texas House of Representatives and in the Texas Senate. Barbara Jordan was the first black woman to be elected to the Texas Senate. She served as a U.S. Congresswoman from 1972-1978.
In 1976 Barbara Jordan became the first African American to give a keynote address to the Democratic National Convention.
After retiring from Congress, she taught at the University of Texas at Austin. The passenger terminal at Austin"s international airport is named in honor of Barbara Jordan.
• The American dream is not dead. It is gasping for breath, but it is not dead.
• I never intended to become a run-of-the-mill person.
• A spirit of harmony can only survive if each of us remembers, when bitterness and self-interest seem to prevail, that we share a common destiny.
• One thing is clear to me: We, as human beings, must be willing to accept people who are different from ourselves.
• If you"re going to play the game properly you"d better know every rule.
• If you are politically inclined, you may be President of the United States. All my growth and development led me to believe that if you really do the right thing, and if you play by the rules, and if you’ve got good enough, solid judgment and common sense, that you’re going to be able to do whatever you want to do with your life.
• "We the people" -- it is a very eloquent beginning. But when the Constitution of the United States was completed on the seventeenth of September in 1787, I was not included in that "We the people." I felt for many years that somehow George Washington and Alexander Hamilton just left me out by mistake.
But through the process of amendment, interpretation, and court decision, I have finally been included in "We the People."
• We cannot improve on the system of government handed down to us by the founders of the Republic, but we can find new ways to implement that system and realize our