She Rallied For The Presidency And Hired Black Women To Help

black and white photo of shirley chisholm looking ahead
Abeni Jones
November 5, 2022

Though she’s usually remembered for her historic Presidential run, there’s much more to Shirley Chisholm’s incredible story. Here are 5 things you might not have known about this unbought and unbossed dynamo.

#1: She was partially raised in Barbados

At age five, she went to the island to live with her grandmother, who instilled in her deep self-love: “Granny gave me strength, dignity, and love. I learned from an early age that I was somebody."

#2: She didn’t intend to go into politics

Chisholm’s first career was in education. But she saw how necessary it was for her district to have real support – so she ran for New York State Assembly, won, and started her political rise.

#3: She walked the walk

Her time in congress was about uplifting women and people of color – and she proved it by hiring an all-woman staff, half of whom were Black women.

#4: She built bridges across differences

Known for being “unbought and unbossed,” she nevertheless visited openly racist congressman George Wallace in the hospital. Later, that relationship helped her pass a crucial minimum wage bill.

#5: The opposition to her presidential campaign was fierce

While campaigning for president in 1972, she faced opposition from all sides: Black men in her party, racist men AND women, war hawks upset with her anti-Vietnam stance, and voters concerned about “electability.”

But her run was about sending a message. “I want history to remember me... as a [B]lack woman who… dared to be herself… as a catalyst for change in America.”

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