Barbara Jordan

The late Rep. Barbara Jordan, D-Texas, addresses the opening session of the National Women’s Conference in Houston, on Nov. 19, 1977. — AP Photo

Barbara Jordan was elected to the Texas Senate in 1966 — the first African American senator since 1883. During her time in the Senate she passed the state’s first minimum wage law and worked on anti-discrimination clauses in business contracts, according to the U.S. House of Representatives’ History, Art and Archives. She then became the first southern Black woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1972, where she focused on extending federal protection of civil rights.

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