Thursday, June 13, 2024

Black History Month; The Inspiring Story of Shirley Chisholm…

February 8, 2010 by  
Filed under News, Weekly Columns

( Shirley Chisholm was born on November 30, 1924, in the city of Brooklyn, NY to the proud parents of Charles and Ruby St. Hill. As a child, she was an exceptionally brilliant student in school. While attending Girls High School, which was located in Brooklyn, NY, she excelled in a variety of subjects. She graduated in 1942, and enrolled at Brooklyn College, where she majored in sociology.

While attending Brooklyn College, Chisholm occasionally encountered hateful acts of racism, but she openly fought against them. On one occasion at Brooklyn College, all of the black students were denied admittance into a social club on campus, so Chisholm in turn, formed an alternative club. With academic honors, she graduated in 1946, but because it was so difficult for black college graduates to find employment, it would take her a little time to find a job. After being denied employment on several occasions, she would obtain employment at Mount Calvary Childcare Center, which was located in Harlem, NY.

Shirley Chisholm

In 1949, she married a Jamaican by name of Conrad Chisholm. They both participated in local politics, and would soon form the Bedford-Stuyvesant political league. Chisholm not only dealt with politics, but she also dealt with early childhood education. From 1959-1964, she worked with the New York City bureau of child welfare.

In 1964, she won a seat in the state assembly, and served in the New York General Assembly from 1964 to 1968. In 1968, after serving a term in the legislature, Chisholm campaigned in pursuit of representing New York’s Twelfth Congressional District. She would win the election and become the first African American woman to ever be elected to Congress. Chisholm was a strong believer in women rights, so she hired an all-female staff during her first term in Congress.

Chisholm openly spoke out for equal rights. During her congressional career, she was also a strong advocate for legislation to benefit people in poverty. So many people admired Chisholm’s political-decision making skills, and in 1970, she was re-elected for a second term. Chisholm was also cofounder of the National Organization for Women (NOW), and she believed that “Women in this country must become revolutionaries. We must refuse to accept the old, the traditional roles and stereotypes.”

On January 25, 1972, Chisholm announced that she would be running for president of the United States. The 1972 Democratic National Convention, which was held in Miami, was the first major convention where a woman would be considered for the presidential nomination. Although she would withdraw from the race, she became the first black woman to ever run for president. Until 1982, she continued serving in the House of Representatives, and would later retire from politics. Chisholm’s story is so inspiring because even through all of her trials and tribulations, she still remained strong, and achieved some of her dreams. Chisholm passed away in January of 2005, but her story will forever be remembered.

Written By Omarr Lee

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