New public art and meditation space reflects beloved Houston icon

One of Houston’s most cherished and iconic political figures will soon be honored in an apt iconography.

Barbara Jordan, the first South African-American woman to be elected to the United States Congress (1972-1979), will soon be the recipient of a new sculpture commissioned by the Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA). The sculpture is specifically intended for the African American Library at the Houston Public Library at Gregory School, according to a press release.

Work commissioned in progress, “Meditative space reflecting the life and work of the late Barbara Jordan“is described in press materials as a” vibrant memorial space in which freestanding glass panels set in a tranquil structure function as vehicles to represent, through an intricate photographic and textual collage of materials, life and work by Barbara C. Jordan. “

Houston artists Jamal Cyrus and Charisse Weston, the collaborative team who developed the concept, will perform the commemorative artwork. Plans call for work to begin on the Gregory School’s African-American library in the summer of 2022.

The meditative space will be seated to the right of the entrance to the Gregory school library, in the lawn,
inviting visitors to reflect, ponder, and consider Jordan’s dedication to public service, racial justice and the achievement of American ideals, a statement said.

An image of Jordan not only highlights the prowess and dominant voice of Jordan – who was a politician, lawyer, professor, and public figure – and celebrates Jordan’s lesser-known image as a woman of a deep compassion and conviction, especially with regard to family and community.

Pride forever of the Fifth Ward of Houston, Jordan was born in 1936, raised in the Fifth Ward, attended Texas Southern University (magna cum laude diploma) and graduated with a law degree from Boston University.

After teaching and practicing law, she was elected to the Texas Senate in 1966, becoming the state’s first African-American senator since 1883. She was elected to the United States House of Representatives from the tenth century. eighth congressional district of Texas, the district’s first representative.

It is currently being honored by schools, centers, eponymous facilities and even the former post office building soon to be unveiled as Post Houston.

“Barbara Jordan is a legend of Houston and the works of art created by these artists show the impact she had in upholding the Constitution of the United States and representing the people of this city,” said the Mayor Sylvester Turner, in a statement.

“The City of Houston is proud to honor Congresswoman Barbara Jordan in such a creative way. Jordan was a trailblazer – a woman of many firsts and seeing her image and her handwriting will keep her legacy alive for future generations. ”


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