shirley-chisholm

Shirley Chisholm, 1924-2005

Shirley Chisholm, 1924-2005

Shirley Chisholm, 1924-2005
Shirley Chisholm was the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress, and the first woman to run for president in the Democratic party. She was also an author, educator, and activist. She attended Girls’ High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a highly regarded, integrated school that was something of a magnet school for girls throughout Brooklyn. A fierce debater and member of the Harriet Tubman Society while at Brooklyn College, she advocated for inclusion of Black soldiers in the military during World War II, for adding courses on African American history, and for women to join student government. After graduating, she became a teacher’s aide and then a nursery school teacher. She earned her Masters in elementary education in 1952. In 1953, Chisholm joined the campaign to elect Lewis Flagg Jr. to the bench as the first Black judge in Brooklyn, and from there, she became increasingly involved in city and state politics. In 1964, she was elected to the New York State Assembly, and in 1968, she was elected to the United States House of Representatives. She worked to expand the food stamp program and to create the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. A founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and National Women’s Political Caucus, Chisholm only hired women to work in her office, and half of her staff were Black. Throughout her career, she tirelessly advocated for laws to improve the lives of women, including the Equal Rights Amendment. In 1972, she ran for the Democratic nomination for President, receiving over 150 votes at the Democratic Convention. When she retired from Congress in 1981, she returned to teaching. Chisholm was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously in 2015.

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  1. Shirley Chisholm, 1924-2005
    Shirley Chisholm was the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress, and the first woman to run for president in the Democratic party. She was also an author, educator, and activist. She attended Girls’ High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a highly regarded, integrated school that was something of a magnet school for girls throughout Brooklyn. A fierce debater and member of the Harriet Tubman Society while at Brooklyn College, she advocated for inclusion of Black soldiers in the military during World War II, for adding courses on African American history, and for women to join student government. After graduating, she became a teacher’s aide and then a nursery school teacher. She earned her Masters in elementary education in 1952. In 1953, Chisholm joined the campaign to elect Lewis Flagg Jr. to the bench as the first Black judge in Brooklyn, and from there, she became increasingly involved in city and state politics. In 1964, she was elected to the New York State Assembly, and in 1968, she was elected to the United States House of Representatives. She worked to expand the food stamp program and to create the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. A founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and National Women’s Political Caucus, Chisholm only hired women to work in her office, and half of her staff were Black. Throughout her career, she tirelessly advocated for laws to improve the lives of women, including the Equal Rights Amendment. In 1972, she ran for the Democratic nomination for President, receiving over 150 votes at the Democratic Convention. When she retired from Congress in 1981, she returned to teaching. Chisholm was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously in 2015.

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