Happy Birthday, Shirley Chisholm. In 1972, Chisholm became the first black woman to run for President of the United States. Given the permanent blemish on American History that was Nixon and Watergate, how sad that our Chisholm did not win. As a young girl, she let the words of another civil/human rights pioneer guide her–the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “don’t let anybody stand in your way.”
Chisholm represented New York’s 12 Congressional District for seven terms. Chisholm was a first generation American, with her father being from Guiana and her mother being from Barbados. One can only imagine how the current Tea Party would be treating our Shirley Chisholm. During her bid for the Presidency in 1972, she survived 12 assassination attempts. Chisholm also was known for taking positions against the Vietnam war, minority and women’s issues, and for challenging the Congressional seniority system. How many politicians today can claim to be “unbossed and unbought?”
Enjoy this video of Chisholm during her run for President. Chisholm also worked on a bill to give workers the right to a minimum wage–not sure our Scott Walker would have liked that! For more information on Shirley Chisholm, click here.