December 2, 2011
Pioneering alumna Barbara Jordan (’59) honored in Black Heritage postage stamp series
BU Law alumna and civil rights leader Barbara Jordan (’59), the first African American woman to be elected to the Texas Senate and the first African American woman from the South to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, is now the subject of a postage stamp issued by the United States Postal Service.
Part of the USPS Black Heritage series of stamps circulated since 1978, Jordan joins the ranks of prominent civil rights activists such as Martin Luther King, Jr. (GRS ’59, Hon. ’59), Jackie Robinson, and Thurgood Marshall.
Known for her integrity and dedication to public service, Jordan first achieved national political fame in 1974 when she delivered a powerful speech outlining the sanctity of democracy and her steadfast love of the constitution in support of impeaching then-President Richard Nixon.
A rising star in the Democratic Party, Jordan delivered the keynote address at the 1976 Democratic National Convention in New York City, becoming the first woman and first African American to do so.
After serving three terms in Congress, Jordan retired from politics to become a professor of public affairs and ethics at the University of Texas at Austin. According to USPS, her class was so popular that student lotteries were held to determine final student enrollments.
In 1994, President Bill Clinton awarded Jordan the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
The USPS postage stamp is the latest commemoration of the BU Law alumna’s lifelong dedication to public service and the promotion of human rights. Jordan’s legacy endures.