Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm was born in 1924 in Brooklyn, N.Y. In 1968 she became the first black woman ever to be elected to Congress and the first black person to run for the presidential nomination of a major political party, paving the way for Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. to run in 1976. Chisholm won more than 430,000 votes in fourteen states and 28 delegates at the Democratic Convention in Miami. As a reporter, I was with her when black men excoriated for making the run and then many white women deserted her when she did; but she was a tough tireless fighter. In my book, she tells how the double lash of racism and sexism affected her and how she managed to let neither break her. She authored two books, Unbought and Unbossed and The Good Fight. You will be surprised at what religion she claims gave her the most strength and why she doesn’t want to be remembered as the first black to make a bid for the presidency. Rep. Chisholm, a New York Democrat who served in Congress for 15 years, died in 2005.

Read more about Shirley Chisholm in our exclusive interview only available in my book, And Still We Rise.

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