Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005), nicknamed “Fighting Shirley”, was a remarkable African-American woman of many firsts. Particularly in this day and age, she is remembered for her fight for women’s rights, the environment, healthcare and anti-racism.

After a reapportionment of congressional districts in Brooklyn in 1968, Shirley Chisholm took a chance at running for congress under her iconic slogan “Unbought and Unbossed.” She consequently became the first African-American woman voted into congress, in which she served seven consecutive terms until 1982.

In 1972, she was the first African-American and first woman to run for president of the US for a major political party. During this time, however, Chisholm faced tremendous barriers due to her skin color and sex. When, for example, she wanted to participate in a televised presidential debate, she was refused to do so and—following a law suit—allowed only one speech.

“Most Americans have never seen the ignorance, degradation, hunger, sickness, and futility in which many others live...They won't become involved in economic or political change until something brings the seriousness of the situation home to them.” -- Shirley Chisholm, 1970

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