Cooper has served as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives since the 100th Tennessee General Assembly (1997–1998). She was Vice Chair of the House Government Operations Committee. She served on the House Children and Family Affairs Committee, the House Education Committee, the House Family Justice Subcommittee and the House Higher Education Subcommittee.
Cooper graduated from Manassas High School, in Memphis, Tennessee. She also graduated from Tennessee State University, with a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Master's Degree in Education. She is a retired Memphis City Schools teacher. Cooper graduated with a Doctorate of Religious Philosophy in Christian Psychology, from Jacksonville Theological Seminary, in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1999.
In June 2000, Barbara Cooper voted to sustain Governor Don Sundquist's veto of the Tennessee General Assembly's proposed budget. She voted against a bill that, upon passing, would have allowed fines of up to $100 for drivers who are in accidents or who are stopped for other traffic offenses and cannot show proof of insurance or financial responsibility.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 86
PRESENT COMMITTEES & SUBCOMMITTEES:
• CONSUMER AND HUMAN RESOURCES
• FACILITIES, LICENSER AND REGULATIONS
• TENNESSEE BLACK CAUCUS
• SHELBY COUNTY DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATIVE CAUCUS
AWARDS AND HONORS:
2011 Legislator of the Year, Memphis Area Association of Governments, Tennessee Area Development District Association: Chairlady Emeritus, Honorary Member, Manassas High School, GQ/PVL Clubs; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (AKA), Extraordinary Leadership, AKA Day on the Hill: TSU, Appreciation, Dedicated Service Pioneer Black Firefighters, Inc.: NOBEL (National Organization Black Elected Legislators) Shining Star; Citizens for Better Service; Public Service Dr. Raymond Winbush Award; NUAF (National Union of American Families) Outstanding Leadership: Honorary Member: Shelby Forest Community; T. O. Fuller State Park; Equal Opportunity Group, Inc. Project Save-a-Student Award; HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Wellness Award, LeMoyne College; AFL-CIO Leadership Award; Honored by Women of Distinction, AFL-CIO International Award Community Service, Las Vegas, Nevada: Shelby County Schools, Hall of Fame 2019. Key Legislation: Fireworks, Millington; Sales, Beale Street; Community of Schools: TTP; Intu Education: SITES $10M (Strengthening Instruction for Teachers in Elementary Schools): Focus on Math, An HBCUs project; Veterans Home Funding $50Th: AA Museum $10th: AIA $20th: Withers Collections $20th: TSU Land Grant Funding (TBCSL) $4.1M.
100TH THROUGH 111TH GENERAL ASSEMBLIES
PART OF SHELBY, INCLUDING
THE CITY OF MEMPHIS