House Representative

Thierry, Shawn


Representative Thierry Honors Outstanding American Barbara: Files HB 519, Establishing the Barbara Jordan Memorial Parkway in District 146

Austin, Texas: On Tuesday, January 22, 2019, State Representative Shawn Thierry (Houston) announced that she has filed legislation naming a portion of State Highway 288 after her personal hero and role model, the late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan.

Born in Houston, Barbara Jordan was the first African-American woman elected to the Texas Senate and the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress from a southern state. She served in Congress three terms, sponsoring and supporting numerous pieces of legislation, extending federal protection of civil rights.

Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, a prolific lawyer, orator, educator and civil rights activist, is well- regarded as both a Texas and national hero. Dedicating her life to advocating for the benefit of the underserved, her extraordinary career spanned over four decades.

"Barbara Jordan's legacy has impacted me profoundly throughout my life. As a child, my parents affectionately referred to me as 'little Barbara Jordan', whenever I stood up for fellow classmates who were being bullied or treated unfairly. I had no idea that I would actually follow Ms. Jordan's footsteps and end up as a lawyer and a lawmaker in Texas, " remarked Representative Thierry.

Jordan was the first woman and the first African-American to deliver a keynote address to the Democratic National Convention. She was elected to the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame, and is named one of the most influential American women in the 20th century by the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

"After all of these years, and despite her iconic legacy, there is still no highway or major interstate in Texas memorializing the accomplishments of Barbara Jordan. I believe it is only fitting that the Texas legislature would recognize her contributions to our state by honoring her in this way. As one of only four African American women from Houston to serve in the Texas Legislature, I am proud to take this step on behalf of her legacy, and look forward to working with my colleagues to name 288 Highway in Houston in honor of this great woman, " stated Rep. Thierry.

After retiring from political life, Barbara Jordan became a professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. Upon her passing in 1996, the Honorable Barbara Jordan was laid to rest at the Texas State Cemetery wearing the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Media Contact: Angela Beam