Sunday, February 5, 2012

Black History Month 2012: Barbara Jordan and the Equal Rights Amendment

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) has designated “Black Women in American Culture and History” for the official theme of Black History Month 2012.  In observance of this year’s theme, the Barbara Jordan Archives takes a look back at Congresswoman Barbara Jordan's work with the Equal Rights Amendment in a virtual exhibit.

Jordan in her office at the Texas Senate, ca 1969
Jordan was one of only two women in the Texas Senate in 1969 (along with Frances “Sissy” Farenholt in the House) when Congress yet again debated an Equal Rights Amendment. The two women banded together to cosponsor passage of the ERA in Texas, and then decided to propose an equal rights amendment guaranteeing equal rights for women to the Texas Constitution. Jordan continued to speak out on the ERA and the importance of its nationwide passage throughout her Congressional career--for instance, Jordan worked on legislation such as a bill to provide Social Security benefits for homemakers.  And during her last term, Jordan joined with her fellow Congresswomen to fight for an extension of the ERA ratification process that was due to expire in 1979.  

To learn more about the Equal Rights Amendment and the role Jordan played in the debates, click here for the virtual exhibit.

From the Barbara Jordan Archives--happy Black History Month!

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