‘Boss Texas Women’ Tells Stories Of Strength, Inspiration And Fortitude

The book, by two friends from Austin, is designed with a “rock and roll” sensibility. It tells stories about Texas women from Barbara Jordan to Emma Tenayuca.

By Joy DiazMay 17, 2021 1:17 pm, ,

Texas is known for larger-than-life people. Though some of these iconic people are women, Austinites Casey Chapman-Ross and Kristen Gunn thought that more of them needed to be highlighted. So, they wrote “Boss Texas Women.”

For Chapman-Ross, women like Angelina Eberly exemplify the bosses she’s talking about.

“I identify with her because I have a history in real estate…and she was a really empowered businesswoman back in, you know, the mid-1800’s and she owned inns and taverns. And so, she really stepped up and showed this amazing courage when the archives were being stolen from the Austin state Capitol, they were trying to be taken to Houston. So…in the middle of the night, she’s working at her tavern and goes out there and sees this mischievous [act] taking place. And, you know, she’s not waiting for anybody to do it for her. She goes and fires that damn cannon and alerts the whole town. They save the archives. Austin is still the capital and not Houston because of her.”

Barbara Jordan is the person who inspires Gunn.

An open book, showing the pages deciated to Emma Tenayuca“Barbara Jordan is someone that just makes my heart sing. When she spoke, [her voice] sent electricity through people’s bodies. And I aspire to have even a fraction of what that woman had.”

When the friends thought about this book, they wanted something vibrant. Something that someone could read to a child and also display on a coffee table.

Gunn says she actually wanted a different name for the book.

“We wanted it to really feel bad-a** which, incidentally, was the name I wanted to call it – Bad-A** Texas Women. And Casey was like: ‘No, don’t do that!’”

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on texasstandard.org and KUT.org. Thanks for donating today.