“I want history to remember me…not as the first black woman to have made a bid for the presidency of the United States, but as a black woman who lived in the 20th century and who dared to be herself. I want to be remembered as a catalyst for change in America.”
The above were the words of pioneering African-American politician Shirley Chisholm, who is well known for becoming the first black congresswoman in 1968, representing New York State in the U.S. House of Representatives for seven terms.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1924, to Guyanese and Barbadian parents, Chisholm also run for the 1972 Democratic nomination for the presidency, making her the first African-American to seek a presidential nomination from a major political party.
The political icon, throughout her career in politics, fought for social justice and education opportunities and although she did not emerge victorious in the presidential nomination race, she will be remembered for her perseverance in the wake of the attacks she received from a society that did not wholly enfranchise women and people of colour.
Before her death in 2005, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993 and in November 2015, she was posthumously awarded the distinguished Presidential Medal of Freedom. There is currently an upcoming movie on her life that will be titled The Fighting Shirley Chisholm.
Today, November 30, marks what would have been the 94th birthday of the first black congresswoman who was a strong advocate of the poor in society. Here are 5 other amazing things she will be remembered for: