Shirley Chisholm is a history-making black woman.
Chisholm first made history in 1968 when she became the first black woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress, representing the 12th Congressional District of Brooklyn in New York City. Chisholm was also a founding member of both the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Women’s Caucus.
Chisholm had moxie. She, once again, made history when she defied any notions of black women during the ’70s and announced her run for the presidency in January 1972.
“I am not the candidate of black America, although I am black and proud,” Chisholm said, adding, “I am not the candidate of the women’s movement of this country, although I am a woman and I am equally proud of that.”
It was a revolutionary act for a black woman from Brooklyn to run for president in 1972. This Presidents Day, we honor Shirley Chisholm, and her contributions, which changed the history of America.
Special thanks to Shola Lynch, director of Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed. For more about the life and legacy of Shirley Chisholm, check out the Peabody Award-winning documentary.