Shirley Chisholm


“Shirley Chisholm stares out from the side of a dozen coffee mugs these days, her epochal glasses, brocade dresses and distinct crown of curls recognizable trademarks of the most regenerative political figure in modern American culture. As a number of new congresswomen begin to emerge in her image, Ms. Chisholm, who 50 years ago began her service as the first African-American woman in Congress, representing Brooklyn’s 12th District, is enjoying a resurgence of interest 14 years after her death. The actor Viola Davis is producing and starring in a feature film about her, ‘The Fighting Shirley Chisholm,’ and the congresswoman will be portrayed by the actress Uzo Aduba in the upcoming series ‘Mrs. America,’ which chronicles the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The Shirley Chisholm State Park — the largest state park in New York City — opened July 2 in Brooklyn. The congresswoman will soon be the first female historical figure to have a public monument in Brooklyn. Representative Yvette Clarke, who holds the seat held by Ms. Chisholm, is working to get a statue of her placed in the United States Capitol. This month, Representative Hakeem Jeffries, another Brooklyn Democrat, had a portrait of her made to hang in the office of the House Democratic Caucus — which he heads — on Capitol Hill. ‘The social, economic and social-justice fights that Shirley Chisholm once led have sharpened in the Trump era,’ Mr. Jeffries said. Those forces have converged, he added, with ‘the logical attention to her 50th anniversary of becoming the first African-American woman in Congress.’  John Stanton, a writer in New Orleans, recently had a replica of the 2008 portrait of Ms. Chisholm that hangs in the Capitol tattooed on his knee. ‘People want heroes right now,’ Mr. Stanton said, ‘and they’re looking for heroes that aren’t just straight white men.’ Before the feminist movement fueled a slow wave of new women into Congress, Ms. Chisholm was a one-woman precursor to modern progressive politics. A community activist and educator who served briefly in the State Legislature, Ms. Chisholm decided to run for a House seat in 1968, her campaign centered squarely on gender; her primary opponent repeatedly suggested that a man was better suited to represent the area in Washington. …”
NY Times: 2019 Belongs to Shirley Chisholm
W – Shirley Chisholm
12 Facts About Shirley Chisholm, The First African-American to Run For President
YouTube: Women in politics remember Shirley Chisholm


 

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