Rep. Barbara Jordan
Barbara Jordan (1936–1996) was an influential American politician, lawyer, and educator. She was born in Houston, Texas, and became the first African American woman elected to the Texas Senate in 1966. In 1972, Jordan made history again by becoming the first African American woman from the South to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
During her political career, Jordan gained recognition for her eloquent speaking style and impassioned advocacy for civil rights. She played a prominent role in the Watergate impeachment hearings in 1974 as a member of the House Judiciary Committee. Jordan's contributions to American politics and her commitment to justice and equality have left a lasting legacy.
Curtis M. Graves (1938 – 2023) was an American civil rights activist and politician in the state of Texas. He was one of the first African Americans to serve in the Texas House of Representatives since Reconstruction.
In 1967, for the first time since 1899, the Texas House of Representatives had African American members. Curtis was a memorable figure there, an outspoken advocate for issues that most affect the voiceless: raising the minimum wage, eliminating food tax, and incentivizing the adoption of minority and disabled children.
Bessie Coleman (1892-1926) born in Atlanta, Texas, soared across the sky as the first woman of African American and Native American descent to earn her pilot’s license in the U.S. Known for performing flying tricks, Coleman’s nicknames were: “Brave Bessie,” “Queen Bess,” and “The Only Race Aviatrix in the World.”
Her goal was to encourage women and African Americans to reach their dreams – and this became her legacy. Though her life and career were cut short in a tragic plane crash, her life and legacy continue to inspire people around the world.