Posts Tagged ‘Barbara Jordan’

This painting is nothing more than blobs of color, but they come together to make a whole that is pleasing. This watercolor was also painted by two different people. Is there a lesson here? — Art by Pat Bean and Jean Gowen

An Unlikely Hero

A nation is formed by the willingness of each of us to share in the responsibility for upholding the common good.”

“One thing is clear to me: We, as human beings, must be willing to accept people who are different from ourselves.”

“What the people want is very simple – they want an America as good as its promise.”

“The imperative is to define what is right and do it.”

“Let each person do his or her part. If one citizen is unwilling to participate, all of us are going to suffer. For the American idea, though it is shared by all of us, is realized in each one of us.”

“Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.”

While doing some research for a story, I came across the above quotes. They touched my heart, and had me asking why aren’t our leaders saying these kinds of things today. 

If you hadn’t already guessed, these words came from a tall, outspoken, husky-voiced Black women from Texas, Barbara Jordan, whom I was privileged to write about in my early journalism years. She was from Houston, and I worked for a newspaper just 50 miles away.

 Barbara (1936-1996) was the first Black woman to be elected to the Texas State Senate, and in 1972, she became the first Black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

She served three terms before retiring to become a professor at the University of Texas. While Jordan’s quotes from above touched me, this one chilled me to the bone: “But this is the great danger America faces. That we will cease to be one nation and become instead a collection of interest groups: city against suburb, region against region, individual against individual. Each seeking to satisfy private wants.”

I think she perfectly described America as it is today, and it deeply saddens me. What do you think?

Pat Bean is a retired award-winning journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited), and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

Read Full Post »


Statue outside entrance to Women's Museum in Dallas -- Photo by Pat Bean

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” — Eleanor Roosevelt.

Travels With Maggie

Hank Williams Jr. loves ’em. I’m talking, of course, about Texas women. But while he prefers them in jeans, I prefer them strong like Texas Governor Anne Richards or Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, both of whom so aptly set a path for Texas women to follow before their deaths.

I like to think of myself as sharing a gene or two in common with them, and also with another of my Texas female heroes, the late outspoken Texas political columnist Molly Ivins, who was mistakenly born in California.

I understood her dilemma from the opposite direction. Utah claimed me for much of the latter half my life, And while I loved its spectacular mountain scenery, I continued to know I was a Texas woman – from the tips of my short blonde hair to the nail on my crooked little toe.

If you’re in the neighborhood of Dallas, where my RV is parked in front of my oldest daughter’s home for the next few days, and want to learn more about strong Texas women – and those from other states as well – you should drop by the Women’s Museum, a permanent exhibit located in Fair Park, home to the Texas State Fair.

My daughter and I did just that, spending several hours roaming the museum’s 70,000 square feet of exhibits that bring to life the contributions of women to this nation’s history. Opened in 2000 in affiliation with the Smithsonian, the museum began as a dream of one woman, Cathy Bonner, and a reality through the financial support of tens of thousands of mostly female supporters.

If you visit before April 10, you can even catch a special exhibit put together by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz and  simply entitled “Women.” The recommendation of this Texas woman is that you should go.

Read Full Post »