Barbara Charline Jordan (February 21, 1936 – January 17, 1996) was a lawyer, educator, an American politician, and a leader of the Civil Rights movement. A Democrat, she was the first African American elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction, the first Southern African American female elected to the United States House of Representatives, the first known lesbian woman elected to the United States Congress (though this was not known to the public during her tenure), and the first African-American woman to deliver a keynote address at a Democratic National Convention. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among numerous other honors. She was a member of the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors from 1978 to 1980. On her death, she became the first African-American woman to be buried in the Texas State Cemetery.
Barbara Jordan's speech during Richard Nixon's impeachment hearings was remembered for some time after she gave it in 1974. Barbara Rasmussen, publicist for Jefferson Governor Bill Williamson, reflected that the speech was the first time she'd heard the word gravitas, which had been applied to Jordan. Rasmussen used the word to describe the Yeti Lama. Williamson agreed that the word applied to both Jordan and the Yeti Lama.