#thistooishistory Shirley Chisholm – Unbought & Unbossed!

If they don’t give you a seat at the table, you can bring in a folding chair.

This lady did not mess around, she was outspoken and defiant in her nature, not allowing anything or any racial sexist bigot to get in her way. She stood for gender and racial equality and was a force to be reckoned with!

Shirley Chisholm was born in Brooklyn New York to a Guyanese father and Bajan mother in 1924 and spent some time living in Barbados with her grandmother as a child. In 1946 Chisholm graduated cum lade with a Sociology BA from Brooklyn College and later a MA from Columbia University in Early Childhood Education. 

She started off her career as a nursery school teacher and rose to become the director of two daycare centres between 1946-53. After earning her MA she also became the Education Consultant for New York’s division of daycare from 1959-64 and was then elected to New York state legislature, becoming the second Black woman in the Albany district. She left Congress in 1983 and co founded the National Congress of Black Women campaigning for Jesse Jackson’s early presidential bid. If that wasn’t enough she also taught at Holyoake College!

However her most amazing achievement is her monumental presidential run. Although she did not win her bid to be the Democratic representative of New York, it is special as she was the first Black woman to do so. Her stand and her point was clear- anyone who wishes to do right should be heard, it is their right. 


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