What Do You Do With a Voice Like That?

What Do You Do With a Voice Like That?

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Barbara Jordan was born in Texas and from her earliest beginnings her contemporaries knew she was different. Something in the commanding and confident cadence of her voice, inspired others. Stirred them, even. She nurtured her mind and became a lawyer but found her true calling in the political upheaval that permeated America in the 1960s.

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"Barbara wanted more justice and more equality. She knew that these things began with more citizens sharing their own voices with their representatives in government." So she ran for political office and lost twice, before finally becoming a Texas state senator. She used the power of her voice both on the Senate floor and in those casual but formative encounters with colleagues. In 1972 Barbara moved up to the United States Congress where she helped the country navigate the treachery of its highest officer.

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Barbara continued to deliver powerful speeches, keenly aware that she could rally support to protect the rights of disenfranchised citizens. Indeed she "spoke for those who had less power," and continued her visionary guidance long after she left Washington D.C..


To hear more about this remarkable woman, tune into This American Life's (@thisamerlife) latest episode (#665).

What Do You Do With A Voice Like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan by Chris Barton (@bartographyatx) and illustrated by Ekua Holmes. Published by Beach Lane Books (@simonkids). Recommended for ages 6-9

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