Texas legislators today are considering a resolution declaring Feb. 21-27, from 2011 to 2020, Barbara Jordan Freedom Week in honor of the late Texas lawyer. The resolution will be read in both the Texas House and Senate today, says Jessica Kemp, legislative director for state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, who introduced the resolution in the House. State Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, introduced the resolution in the state Senate, Kemp says. Jordan was the first African-American woman elected to serve in the Texas Legislature and the first African-American from the South to serve in Congress. A radio documentary, “Rediscovering Barbara Jordan,” broadcast on public radio stations in 2006, highlighted her life from a childhood in Houston’s Fifth Ward to her role on the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate hearings. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994 by then-President Bill Clinton. There is a statue of Jordan on the University of Texas at Austin campus where she taught public policy in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Jordan died in 1996. Yesterday, Feb. 21, would have been her 75th birthday.
UPDATE: Resolutions paying tribute to the late Barbara Jordan were adopted Feb. 22 by the state House and Senate. A concurrent resolution establishing Barbara Jordan Freedom Week will be submitted to Gov. Rick Perry for his signature later in the session, says Jeremy Warren, spokesman for state Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston.
-- Jeanne Graham