What Do You Do With a Voice Like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan by Chris Barton, illustrated by Ekua Holmes, tells the true story of Barbara Jordan’s life, beginning with her childhood. In 1966, Barbara Jordan became the first African American woman to be elected to the Texas Senate. She became friends with President Johnson after discussing civil rights at the White House. Her many accomplishments are listed in the timeline in the backmatter of the book, but what’s really significant about this picture book is the time it takes to show us how Barbara got to those accomplishments, the time when she was young and trying to figure out what to do with her voice.
Chris Barton’s text presents Barbara Jordan’s life in a compelling and thoughtful way, and Ekua Holmes illustrates in her signature bright mixed media, giving the book its beautiful stand-out quality.