Op-Ed Politics and Governance

Barbara Jordan: Trying to Be Big

Barbara Jordan lived a life that was both inspiring and instructive. As a community we have much to gain from reflecting on her character and contributions to our public history. In word and action, she advocated for acceptance, compromise and the inclusion of all citizens in the democratic process — principles that are more relevant than ever in our current political climate. The annual Barbara Jordan Forum allows us to honor her legacy and come away strengthened by her example of lifelong dedication to fairness, acceptance and democracy.

As the LBJ School kicks off Barbara Jordan Week, we invite you to familiarize yourself with the life and legacy of the former Congresswoman and LBJ School professor. In particular, her statement on the Articles of Impeachment, delivered on July 25, 1974, gives us a window into her beliefs on ethics and public service, values we hope to reflect on throughout this week.

Her voice is so powerful.  It is not only the words she speaks but also the tone she uses, the way she stresses certain words, and where she chooses to pause. When you hear her voice, you hear her passion. You don’t get that from just reading a quote. This week we celebrate Barbara Jordan’s commitment to equality and ethics in public service, and this video clip showcases just that. This excerpt from her Statement on the Articles of Impeachment exposes a moment in which her argument for what is right come across clearly.

No one can say it better than Barbara Jordan.

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