The Continuing Success of the Texas Southern University Debate Team

In 1952 Barbara Jordan joined the debate team at Texas Southern University, the historically black educational institution in Houston. Jordan, who would go on to become a U.S. congresswoman, was part of the team that battled the debate team from Harvard University to a tie in a Houston meet, a remarkable achievement for that time and place.

Over the years the debate team at Texas Southern University has remained one bright spot at what has been an often troubled educational institution. Professor Thomas Freeman, who started the team in 1949, still coaches the team at the age of 86. Over the past decade, the team has won at least 100 individual and team trophies. It has participated in debates all over the nation and in Prague, Buenos Aires, London, and South Africa.