In 1976, Representative Barbara Jordan became the first African American woman to give the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. “First, we believe in equality for all and privileges for none,” Jordan said. “This is a belief that each American, regardless of background, has equal standing in the public forum—all of us.” In 1984, there were only two female senators and twenty-two female representatives in Congress. The potential nomination of a woman for vice president in 1984 caught the attention of women and men across the country, including Representative Jordan.


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MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour segment with Cokie Roberts on female political power. May 4, 1984. Permission to use this edited version has been granted for educational purposes only, courtesy of WETA/NewsHour Productions LLC via American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and Library of Congress)