Saying a black person “speaks well”….not that tactful. Actually it’s insulting to some. Having said that, few people of ANY race have the oratory gifts of the late Barbara Jordan. I remember being struck by her voice as a child and asking my mother who she was when I saw her on television.
My mother told me with pride, ‘THAT is Barbara Jordan, she’s from Houston.” Not only was she from Houston, she was from Fifth Ward – the same lower-income predominantly black neighborhood my parents were from. She even graduated from my mother’s high school.
From that moment on, she was everything. I had to learn more about her and there was so much to learn.
I won’t list all of her accomplishments here, but she was the first black congresswoman from the South, the first black woman to deliver the keynote at the Democratic National Convention and was mentioned as a possible running mate for President Jimmy Carter.
If Barbara Jordan can accomplish this in the face of unimaginable racism, sexism and just pure hatred, we must honor her by honoring ourselves everyday. We must face challenges head on with dignity, strength, focus and tenacity.
We as women must.
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