HOUSTON — Barbara Jordan, one of America’s most respected and influential politicians, was recognized today by the U.S. Postal Service as the 34th honoree in the popular Black Heritage stamp series.
The Barbara Jordan Forever Stamp goes on sale today at Post Offices nationwide, online at usps.com and by phone at 800-782-6724.
“Throughout her lifetime, Barbara Jordan received many prestigious honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our nation’s highest civilian honor, in 1994,” said Ellis Burgoyne, chief information officer and executive vice president, Postal Service. Burgoyne spoke during a first-day-of-issue ceremony held on the campus of Texas Southern University in Houston.
“Staunchly determined to help extend social justice and federal protection of equal rights to all American citizens, Barbara Jordan dedicated her life to working for the benefit of others,” said Burgoyne. “At the Postal Service, we are proud to share her legacy with all Americans through the issuance of this new commemorative Forever stamp.”
Joining Burgoyne to dedicate the stamp were U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas; Dr. John M. Rudley, president, Texas Southern University; and Karen Hauser, president, Houston Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Barbara Jordan’s sister, Rose Mary McGowan, also spoke.
Since 1978, when the Postal Service issued the Harriet Tubman stamp, the Black Heritage series has helped educate Americans about the achievements and contributions of noted African-Americans. Past honorees include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Jackie Robinson, Carter G. Woodson, Madam C.J. Walker, Thurgood Marshall and Marian Anderson.
Born in Houston, Barbara Jordan was the first African-American woman elected to the Texas legislature. She also was the first African-American elected to the Texas State Senate since 1883, and the first African-American woman elected from the South to the U.S. Congress, where she served three terms, sponsoring and supporting numerous pieces of legislation extending federal protection of civil rights.
In 1976, Jordan gained national acclaim when she became the first woman and the first African-American to deliver a keynote address to the Democratic National Convention. Jordan’s speech resonated throughout the country as she described Americans as “a people in search of a national community … attempting to fulfill our national purpose, to create and sustain a society in which all of us are equal.”
In 1984, Jordan was elected to the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame. She was named one of the most influential American women in the 20th century by the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993.
The portrait featured on the Barbara Jordan Forever Stamp is an oil painting by award-winning artist Albert Slark of Ajax, Ontario, Canada. Slark based his portrait on an undated black-and-white photograph of Jordan.