Tribute to Barbara Jordan and Shirley Chisholm

MON, JAN 16, 2006 (1:32:12)

On Martin Luther King Day, California Congresswoman Barbara Lee, National Public Radio’s senior news analyst Cokie Roberts, and former Texas Governor Ann Richards discuss the remarkable political careers of two African American women, Barbara Jordan and Shirley Chisholm. Veteran television and documentary producer and WGBH commentator Callie Crossley moderates. Barbara Jordan, who died 10 years ago, was elected to the Texas Senate in 1966 and was the first African American woman from a southern state to serve in the US House of Representatives. Shirley Chisholm, who passed away a year ago, was the first African American woman elected to the US Congress and the first African American to run as a Democratic presidential candidate in 1972.

+ BIO: Barbara Lee

Congresswoman Barbara Lee was first elected to represent California’s 9th Congressional District in 1998 in a special election to fill the seat of retiring Congressman Ron Dellums. A member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Lee serves on the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, the State and Foreign Operations and the Financial Services Subcommittees. Additionally, she serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee on the subcommittees on Western Hemisphere and Africa and Global Health. Congresswoman Lee was sworn in as the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) on January 6, 2009. The 42-member CBC is one of the longest standing caucuses in Congress and is often referred to as the conscience of the Congress for their willingness to tackle the most serious social and economic issues facing minorities in the United States. Born in El Paso Texas, Congresswoman Lee graduated from Mills College in Oakland and received her MSW from the University of California in Berkeley. She began her political career as an intern in the office of her predecessor, then Congressman Ron Dellums, current Mayor of Oakland, where she eventually became his chief of staff. Before being elected to Congress, she served in the California State Assembly from 1990-1996 and in the California State Senate from 1996-1998.

+ BIO: Cokie Roberts

Cokie Roberts (1943-2019) was a senior news analyst for NPR News, where she served as the congressional correspondent for more than 10 years. In addition to her work for NPR, Roberts was a political commentator for ABC News, providing analysis for all network news programming. From 1996-2002 she and Sam Donaldson co-anchored the weekly ABC interview program This Week. In her more than forty years in broadcasting, she has won countless awards, including three Emmys. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the fifty greatest women in the history of broadcasting. In addition to her appearances on the airwaves, Roberts, along with her husband, Steven V. Roberts, wrote a weekly column syndicated in newspapers around the country by United Media. The Roberts were also contributing editors to USA Weekend Magazine, and together they wrote From this Day Forward, an account of their more than 40 year marriage and other marriages in American history. The book immediately went onto The New York Times bestseller list, following Cokie Roberts’s number one bestseller, We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters, an account of women’s roles and relationships throughout American history. Roberts histories of women in America’s founding era Founding Mothers, published in 2004 and Ladies of Liberty in 2008, also became instant bestsellers. Cokie Roberts earned more than twenty honorary degrees, served on the boards of several non-profit institutions and on the President’s Commission on Service and Civic Participation. The Library of Congress named her a “Living Legend”in 2008. She is one of the very few Americans to have attained that honor.

+ BIO: Ann Richards

U.S. politician, former governor of Texas, Ann Richards was born Dorothy Ann Willis on September 1, 1933, in Lakeview, Texas. Known for her sharp wit, strong personality, and liberal political views, Richards fought for womens and minority rights and worked to bring more women and minorities into power. She showed political promise in high school, excelling in debates. Her strong debating skills earned her a college scholarship, graduating from Baylor University in 1950. She went on to get a teaching certificate at the University of Texas in Austin in 1955.

+ BIO: Callie Crossley

Callie Crossley is a woman for all media including commentator, public speaker, writer, broadcast journalist, and filmmaker.

Crossley is a Boston based radio and tv host, commentator, and public speaker. Her Monday morning commentaries on GBH’s Morning Edition tackle wide-ranging subject matter—from the TSA’s Quiet Skies surveillance program, safe injection sites, Ayanna Pressley’s Congressional victory, everyday racism, the movie Crazy Rich Asians, the pre and post response to the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, and the lack of understanding about sexual assault.

Crossley hosts Basic Black, which focuses on current events concerning communities of color, and she is known to Bostonians for her weekly television commentary on the media criticism program, Beat the Press, an award-winning program examining local and national media coverage airing on WGBH-TV.

Prior to her current work, Ms. Crossley spent thirteen years as a network television Producer for ABC NEWS’ 20/20 reporting health medical stories such as male menopause, breast cancer and young women, and the potential link between viral infection and recycled air in airplanes. In addition, she was a producer on the critically acclaimed PBS documentary series Eyes on the Prize: Americas Civil Rights Years 1954-1965. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored her hour on the series with an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature. Crossley produced the documentary while working for Blackside, Inc., a Boston based independent film production company for which she most recently served as Senior Series Producer on the 2003 PBS documentary series This Far By Faith: African-American Spiritual Journeys.

Callie Crossley is a graduate of Wellesley College, and was at Harvard University as a Nieman Fellow, a year long sabbatical for professional journalists.

John F. Kennedy Library Foundation
African American Culture Series
Provincetown International Film Festival 2006 Series