Updated: Aug 12, 2021
“If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”
― Shirley Chisholm
Who was this #remarkablewoman ?
Shirley Anita Chisholm (November 30, 1924 – January 1, 2005) was an American politician, educator, and author. In 1968, she became the first black woman elected to the United States Congress, representing New York's 12th congressional district, a district centered on Bedford-Stuyvesant,[a] for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In the 1972 United States presidential election, she became the first African-American candidate to run for a major party's nomination for President of the United States, and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.
Born in Brooklyn, Chisholm studied and worked in early childhood education, becoming involved in local Democratic party politics in the 1950s. In 1964, overcoming some resistance because she was a woman, she was elected to the New York State Assembly. Four years later she was elected to Congress, where she led expansion of food and nutrition programs for the poor and rose to party leadership. She retired from Congress in 1983 and taught at Mount Holyoke College, while continuing her political organizing. Although nominated for an ambassadorship in 1993, health issues caused her to withdraw. In 2015, Chisholm was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
She began exploring her candidacy in July 1971, and formally announced her presidential bid on January 25, 1972, in a Baptist church in her district in Brooklyn.There she called for a "bloodless revolution" at the forthcoming Democratic nomination convention. She became the first African American to run for a major party's nomination for President of the United States, in the 1972 U.S. presidential election, making her also the first woman ever to run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination (U.S. Senator Margaret Chase Smith had previously run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1964)
In her presidential announcement, Chisholm described herself as representative of the people and offered a new articulation of American identity: "I am not the candidate of black America, although I am black and proud. I am not the candidate of the women's movement of this country, although I am a woman and equally proud of that. I am the candidate of the people and my presence before you symbolizes a new era in American political history."
Chisholm died on January 1, 2005, She is buried in the Birchwood Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, where the legend inscribed on her vault reads: "Unbought and Unbossed".
PBS P.O.V. documentary. Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed.
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