Women in History - Shirley Chisholm

By Growing Writer, Anasia Scott (Student, 8th grade)
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisolm was the first African American woman in Congress and the first woman and African American to seek the nomination for president of the United States from one of the two major political parties. Her saying and title of her autobiography – Unbought and Unbossed – illustrates her outspoken approval for women and minorities during her seven terms in the U.S. Representatives.

Shirley was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 30, 1924.  She was the oldest of four daughters to immigrant parents from Guyana and Barbados.  She graduated from Brooklyn Girls High in 1942 and from Brooklyn College laude in 1946.   She won prizes and awards on the debate team.  Shirley earned a master’s degree from Columbia University and also joined the NAACP.  In 1964 Shirley ran for and became the second African American in the New York State Legislature.

Shirley retired from Congress in 1983.  She taught at Mount Holyoke College and co-founded the National Political Congress of Black Women.  In 1991 she moved to Florida and later declined the nomination to become U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica due to bad health.  From all her legacy Shirley said “I want to be remembered as a woman who dared to be a catalyst of change.

By Anasia Scott, 8th grade student.

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