March 4, 2011
>Women’s History Month Heroes: Barbara Jordan
>GLSEN is proud to honor Women’s History Month by celebrating contributions of women to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Throughout March we will be recognizing heroes who have made significant contributions to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Click here for more information, and keep reading all month long for new additions!
Barbara Jordan (1936 – 1996) was the first black American elected to the Texas House of Representatives after Reconstruction; as well as the first Southern black woman ever elected to the US House of Representatives. Barbara served three terms in the Texas State Senate from 1966-1972, including a term as the president pro tem of the senate. Barbara was the first black woman to hold this position and even served a day as the acting governor of Texas on June 10, 1972. In 1976 Jordan was asked to be the first black woman to give a keynote speech at the Democratic National Committee. President Clinton expressed a desire to nominate Barbara to the position of Supreme Court Justice however by the time a position was available Jordan’s health had deteriorated due to her struggle with multiple sclerosis. She died in 1996 due to complications with pneumonia with her companion of almost 30 years, Nancy Earl, by her side.
We want to know who your heroes are! If you know a woman who has contributed to the LGBT and safe schools movement, post about them on the Gay-Straight Alliances Facebook page. You can also tweet your heroes to @DayofSilence using the #GLSENWHM hash tag!