Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman elected to the United States Congress. Many credit Chisholm for paving the way for Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama. Chisholm was the first African American to run for president and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.
Chisholm was of Caribbean decent; her mother was from Barbados and her father was from Guyana. She was born in New York, but spent some of her childhood years living with her grandmother in Barbados before returning to her parents in New York to complete her education. As a result, she spoke with a recognizable West Indian accent.
Chisholm started her working life as an educator. She served as director of a nursery and childcare center in New York City. She became known as an expert in early education and child welfare. This interest and expertise helped launch her political career. She became a democratic member of the New York state assembly and later ran for and won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives representing New York’s 12th congressional district. Her campaign slogan was “Unbought and Unbossed.” Chisholm served seven terms in the House of Representatives. She was a champion of minority education and employment opportunities throughout her tenure in Congress. Chisholm was also one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
In 2015,Chisholm was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. One of Chisholm’s most notable quotes is “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.”
Sources: B BC, Biography.com, Wikipedia
Sourced from: NCAHM News & Notes