Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Barbara, an MSer To Remember

March is National Women's History Month and the theme is Generations of Women Moving History Forward. March is also National MS Awareness and Education Month. Hmmm. I know many women MSers have helped move history forward. Let's look at one who made a significant difference in our lives and in American culture --

"Don't call for black power or green power.
Call for brain power."

Barbara Jordan (1936 - 1996) was the first black woman from the South to serve in the US Congress. Before that, she had her own private law practice when she was elected the first black Senator in the Texas State Senate in almost a hundred years. Although she retired from Congress in 1978 because of her MS, she remained active including work for Texas governor Ann Richards and for President Clinton.

Barbara Jordan was considered for Attorney General and U.N. Ambassador, but MS had other plans. She declined nomination to the Supreme Court. She did, however, receive many awards including the Presidential Medal of Honor in 1994.

She was such a dynamic speaker. I remember her powerful presence the first time she was a keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention, considered by historians the finest keynote in modern history. She spoke again, but I didn't hear her second keynote. I did hear her supporting Nixon's impeachment.

In closing, a quote appropriate for today's politicians:

"Many seek only to satisfy their private work -- wants; to satisfy their private interests. 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. If that happens, who then will speak for America? Who then will speak for the common good?"

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