What Do You Do With A Voice Like That?
The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan
by Chris Barton; Illustrated by Ekua Holmes
Beach Lane Books (September 25, 2018)
Nonfiction * Biography * Politics * Women's History
Audience: Grades 2 to 5
Indiebound | WorldCat
Description from GoodReads:
“When Barbara Jordan talked, we listened.” —Former President of the United States, Bill Clinton
Congresswoman Barbara Jordan had a big, bold, confident voice—and she knew how to use it! Learn all about her amazing career in this illuminating and inspiring picture book biography of the lawyer, educator, politician, and civil rights leader.
Even as a child growing up in the Fifth Ward of Houston, Texas, Barbara Jordan stood out for her big, bold, booming, crisp, clear, confident voice. It was a voice that made people sit up, stand up, and take notice.
So what do you do with a voice like that?
Barbara took her voice to places few African American women had been in the 1960s: first law school, then the Texas state senate, then up to the United States congress. Throughout her career, she persevered through adversity to give voice to the voiceless and to fight for civil rights, equality, and justice.
New York Times bestselling author Chris Barton and Caldecott Honoree Ekua Holmes deliver a remarkable picture book biography about a woman whose struggles and mission continue to inspire today.
Quick thoughts on the book:
As I read, WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A VOICE LIKE THAT? THE STORY OF EXTRAORDINARY CONGRESSWOMAN BARBARA JORDAN, I realized I had never heard her speak. I was too young when she was in Congress and in my small New England hometown, the activities of a Texas Congresswoman never made it to me. Of course, I went to youtube to see if I could find Jordan's July 25, 1974 Watergate Articles of Impeachment speech that Chris Barton references at the end of the book.
Wow! We need more politicians like Jordan. Her speech is about 13 minutes long but it is worth listening to.
Barbara Jordan grew up in Texas in a time when simply seeking to get an education was a challenge for a black woman, and becoming a lawyer could be near to impossible. And yet, she not only became a lawyer but with perseverance and hard work, she went on to become a Senator. Sadly, her challenges with her health forced her to leave the Senate and return home where she channeled her energy into teaching college students to use their voices.
Jordan was a powerful force for good throughout her life and left an amazing legacy in how she changed people's lives.
At the end, Barton includes an author's note, timeline, and suggestions for further reading.
Ekua Holmes' artwork is absolutely stunning. The more I see of her work the more I am blown away. Holmes captures the spirit and emotions of Barbara Jordan's life and work on each page.
Look for WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A VOICE LIKE THAT? THE STORY OF EXTRAORDINARY CONGRESSWOMAN BARBARA JORDAN by Chris Barton and illustrated by Ekua Holmes in her local indie bookstore or community library when it comes out in September 2018.
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