Shirley Chisholm’s story is so inspiring that shortly after Uzo Aduba won an Emmy in the Hulu miniseries, Mrs. America, for portraying Chisholm, Danai Gurira is picking up the mantle to play the first Black U.S. congresswoman with emphasis on her race to the White House.
“The Fighting Shirley Chisholm” is not a biopic but a story that follows the trailblazer’s historic 1972 presidential run. Although she was unsuccessful, Chisholm rewrote history for many Black women.
The film is centered on her campaign trail as she ran for the 1972 Democratic nomination for the presidency, making her the first Black woman to seek a presidential nomination from a major political party.
According to Variety, “the Chisholm Trail was populated by young people who sought social and political change during one of the most turbulent times in American history.”
She fought for social justice and education opportunities throughout her entire political career and immortalized her name on November 5, 1968, when she became the first Black woman elected to Congress.
Chisolm’s story is relevant in today’s America, and a description of the piece said Chilsolm “recognized that she could make real change by challenging the status quo through her efforts to gain enough delegates to speak for the people at the Democratic Convention.”
Although Chisholm 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 color.
Chisholm, who was born in Brooklyn in 1924 to Guyanese and Barbadian parents, represented New York State’s 12th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives for seven terms.
The script for “The Fighting Shirley Chisholm” is written by Adam Countee, and Cherien Dabis will direct the film.
UTA Independent Film Group is behind the project and Stephanie Allain will produce it through her Homegrown Pictures banner with Gabrielle Ebron as the executive producer.