Our #WomanCrushWednesday April spotlight is on Barbara Jordan

This month’s #WomanCrushWednesday winner is member Carol Grose, who shares her memories of Texas Congresswoman and Senator Barbara Jordan.

The summer of the Watergate hearings, my grandmother entertained me by letting me help out in the reception area of the motel where she worked. My favourite task — connecting calls on the switchboard — wasn’t demanding so I watched TV, too.

My family of Strom Thurmond Republicans had firmly supported Nixon’s re-election. They were dismissive of questions surrounding the President, and as a child I assumed there was no other valid perspective. Then, Congresswoman Barbara Jordan spoke in the House Judiciary Committee hearing.

Barbara Jordan was the daughter of a Baptist minister in Texas and spoke with the phrasing and nuance of someone brought up reading the King James Bible. Her conviction and logic was about something more profound than being simply “for” or “against”, and threw light on the post school desegregation tensions in my local community.

Barbara Jordan stood for the idea that it is possible to think deeply. She is a reminder that it is possible to live a life of activity and conviction. She went to law school, set up a practice, and campaigned for Kennedy and Johnson.

During her exceptional life, she was elected to the Texas State Legislature and then Congress. She was known for her powerful oratory and retired from Congress in the late 1970s after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She continued to be dedicated to the Constitution and ethics: she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994.

Who is your most inspiring female hero? Email us at comms@womenscaucus.co.uk with your name, a photo of your #WCW, and a paragraph or two explaining why she inspires you. We’ll feature her in the next newsletter.

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