Do you know who Shirley Chisholm is? Do you ever wonder about the level of struggles women go through every day because of the patriarchal society? Imagine how difficult it is for women who belong to racial minorities to receive respect and a position of power. 

Who is Shirley Chisholm? In this article, I will share an overview of Shirley Chisholm and mention her achievements and contributions. You get to learn about the women who are constantly aware of social issues such as gender inequality and racial oppression. 

I am here to talk about the woman who thinks she has a "double handicap" as a female and a black woman! If you are a woman and you are reading this, do you believe this racial interference still exists? What are we doing as a society to help our women experience a better and unbiased world? 

Who was Shirley Chisholm, the Black Woman Who Changed Politics? 

Who was Shirley Chisholm, the Black Woman Who Changed Politics?

In 1972, when the world was still trying to adapt to societal and political changes, a woman was ready to change the world. She ran for president of the United States, thus highlighting the concept of inclusive leadership globally. 

Her story inspired me after I saw the Netflix documentary on the legacy and how she pushed the envelope for every other woman who came after her, including women of color. I hope you will learn a lot from her story after I share her early life, struggles, and achievements! 

Furthermore, Shirley made us believe in decision-making and how to act, which is a possibility. The icon was an authentic individual who became a role model for many people during her time, which continues! 

Early Life And Education 

Shirley was born to immigrant parents, Charles St. Hill and Ruby Seale St. Hill. Her father was a factory worker, while her mother was a seamstress from Barbados. She was born on November 30, 1924, the eldest of four daughters.  

She used to live in Brooklyn, New York, and finished her graduation from Brooklyn College in 1946. Shirley became well-known for her debating skills in college! She then became a nursery schoolteacher and served as a director at the Friends Day Nursery in Brooklyn. 

Shirley married Conrad Q. Chisholm in 1949; however, they divorced in 1977! It was in 1951 that she completed her Master's in elementary education at Columbia University. She slowly created her space in a powerful position and from an authoritative perspective. 

Early Career 

The first African American woman who served in Congress, Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm, was an icon. She also aimed to become president as she sought nomination to become the president of the United States. An inspiration for many, Shirley was a force to be reckoned with. 

 The iconic woman became the director of Hamilton-Madison Childcare Center in New York City and continued from 1953 to 1959! When it comes to child welfare and the early education of children, she became a well-known expert and activist. 

From 1959 to 1964, Shirley served the daycare division of the city as an educational consultant. She was active in political groups and community development, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  

Shirley was also a member of the Unity Democratic Club, which is her district community, and later took authority. In the New York state legislature, Shirley represented her district in the legislature for New York. She became quite popular with her Shirley Chisholm quotes! 

State Legislator 

The first woman to get elected to the United States Congress in 1968, Shirley Anita Chrisholm, represented the Brooklyn district! In the New York State Assembly, she tried to establish her power, thus creating her reputation as a fighter and a maverick! 

A hero for the people and society, Chisholm wrote about her autobiography, naming it unbought and unbiased. She has been a strong example of heroism, creating awareness worldwide and inspiring others to achieve all the success available. 

Her African American woman identity influenced her political career. She integrated changes in society about how an approach can change people's perspectives! 

U.S. House Of Representatives 

It was a huge achievement for Shirley as she ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1968. While running for the position, she adopted the slogan: "Fighting Shirley Chisholm - Unbought and Unbossed"!  

She spoke directly to all, mostly women while travelling through the 12th congressional district of New York. James Farmer, a civil rights leader, was her opposition in the general election who lost to Chisholm.  

It was a big win for her because he was quite favored for his social activism. She took office in 1969 and became a strong liberal! Her perspective and transition towards becoming a strong woman begins here. 

She opposed the concept of war and weapons development; thus, she raised her voice against the war in Vietnam. Shirley liked full-employment proposals and tried to raise awareness regarding the needs of the voters when it came to policy and legislation management. 

1972 Presidential Campaign 

Shirley publicly criticized Washington for the politics of the politicians and authoritative people with the representation and inclusion of voters. She became a candidate for the U.S. President from the Democratic nomination

However, she withdrew from the race even after winning 152 delegates. It was discrimination that stopped her quest for the position of president, as she was blocked from giving televised primary debates and speeches. She then went on to take legal action, but that only got her so far! 

Her campaign was underfinanced, while the congressional approach towards her was mostly against her race and gender. She only entered 12 primaries while working hard to make a place for her to speak out for the disparities experienced by people. 

With the zeal of her campaign, most of the people from minority groups, women, and students were following her. They wanted her to take their stand and supported her because she worked hard for their betterment. 

Later Life And Death 

In 1983, Shirley Chisholm retired from Congress. She then went on to teach at Mount Holyoke College and then co-founded an institution named the National Political Congress of Black Women. She was offered the nomination of U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica but declined due to bad health. 

She moved to Florida after her health deteriorated. Her legacy was that she wanted to be the catalyst of change. She wanted people to remember her as a woman who played a huge role in bringing change in society towards women, minority ethnicities, and individuals who were treated ill! 

Did you know about Shirley Chisholm cause of death? Shirley died on January 1, 2005, at the age of 80. She was living in Ormond Beach, Florida, in the United States. The "unbossed" pioneer of Congress suffered several heart strokes before her death, as William Howard, a former staff member, informed.  

Honours And Awards 

Honours And Awards 

Elected as the secretary of the House Democratic Caucus in 1977, Shirley worked hard for the welfare of the people. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously awarded in 2015.  

The first woman to serve and get elected to Congress and went on to make a difference till 1983. The congresswoman worked towards reducing defense spending and ending the military draft.  

She has served Congress for a long time and kept pushing for female representation. As an individual, power, money, or position did not impact her; instead, she went for female representation at every level, so there was no lack of inclusion, diversity, and opportunity. 

Finishing Off…

To sum it up, Shirley Chisholm was a force of nature to be reckoned with and worked hard for women's empowerment. Her presidential nomination set an example for women worldwide and inspired them to reach out to the stars. 

Nothing is impossible when you set your mind to it, and Shirley proved it! Even though the changes she wanted and expected took many years, she set some cornerstones. 

Comment on your perspective about Shirley Chisholm being a hero setting an example for others! 

Learn More About:

sagnika sinha

Sagnika Sinha is a content writer who is passionate about writing travel vlogs, entertainment and celebrity articles and literature-based pieces. With a 4 years experience in teaching, she loves reading books. A procrastinator by nature, she loves travelling, listening to music, planting and gardening.

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