Shirley Chisholm Campaigns for Nomination

Shirley Chisholm Campaigns for Nomination


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While seeking the candidacy for president of the United States in 1972, Shirley Chisholm campaigns hard, speaking to crowds across the country about her beliefs in equality for women and minorities. In 1968, Chisholm became the first African-American congresswoman.


'Unbought and unbossed': Shirley Chisholm's presidential campaign legacy 46 years later

Before former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson made U.S. history with their respective presidential campaigns, there was Shirley Chisholm.

The New York-born daughter of West Indian immigrants broke barriers as the first black woman elected to Congress in 1968. Four years later, the Brooklyn representative became the first black woman to seek a major party (Democrat) nomination for the presidency.

“I am not the candidate of black America, although I am black and proud,” said Chisholm during her historic announcement on Jan. 25, 1972 at Concord Baptist Church in Brooklyn. “I am not the candidate of the women’s movement of this country, although I am a woman, and I am equally proud of that.”

She continued: “… I am the candidate of the people of America. And my presence before you now symbolizes a new era in American political history.”

On the 46th anniversary of Chisholm’s bold bid for the highest office in the land, the late public servant, who passed away in 2005 at the age of 80, is being remembered for an unapologetic career that sparked change and still impacts American politics. Some political experts see contemporary connections in Chisholm’s story, including the Black Lives Matter movement, the Women’s March and #MeToo, or the waves of women seeking office nationwide which followed the election of Donald Trump.

“Her life and legacy is more relevant than ever,” said Glynda Carr, co-founder of Higher Heights for America, an organization that works to elevate black women’s voices in the political and policy realm. “We see elected officials like Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Maxine Waters who embody ‘unbought and unbossed.’ And everyday women who have stepped off the sidelines and are running for office.”

Back when Chisholm ran for president, the Vietnam War was raging, the women’s movement was emerging, and former President Richard Nixon was in his second term.

Since that time, black women have run for president, including Lenora Fulani of the New Alliance Party and former Illinois Senator Carol Moseley Braun, who is the first African-American woman elected to the Senate. Among talk of the 2020 presidential election, there’s been buzz about black women such as Oprah Winfrey and Harris as possible contenders.

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Moreover, African-American women have recently charted impressive wins in City Council, mayoral and state legislative races from Minneapolis to Charlotte and nationwide. Black women voters turned out in record numbers and helped ensure decisive victories in New Jersey, Virginia and Alabama.

According to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, of the 106 women serving in the 115th Congress, 38 (35.8 percent) are women of color. There are 18 African-American women in the House of Representatives in addition, two black women are non-voting Delegates to the House. On the Senate side, there is Sen. Harris who is multiracial, with Jamaican and Indian roots.

“We have certainly made strides in terms of the momentum for diversity and inclusion,” said Don Bell, who leads the Black Talent Initiative at the Joint Center of Political and Economic Studies, an African-American think tank in Washington, D.C. “We will not be turned back. Still, we have a long way to go—making sure the staffers on the Hill look like the constituents of America and more. It’s incumbent upon all of us to remain engaged in the political process and apply pressure.”

I am not the candidate of black America, although I am black and proud. I am not the candidate of the women’s movement of this country, although I am a woman, and I am equally proud of that. . I am the candidate of the people of America. And my presence before you now symbolizes a new era in American political history.

- Shirley Chisholm

Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., who first met Chisholm as a young woman and today represents much of Chisholm’s former district in Brooklyn, recently introduced H.R. 4856, a bill aimed at placing a permanent statue of Chisholm in the U.S. Capitol. To date, a diverse group of more than 50 lawmakers, including various members of the Congressional Black Caucus, have signed on as co-sponsors.

“She’s an icon, no doubt about it,” said Clarke. “She changed the status quo of electoral politics in both parties, and the American landscape.”

If the House and Senate pass the legislation, it would go to the president to be signed into law, according to Erin McCracken, a spokeswoman for the Joint Committee of Congress on the Library. Her committee would work “in close consultation with the Architect of the Capitol to commission the statue,” she told NBC News in an email.

Currently, there are bronze statues of Frederick Douglass and Rosa Parks in the Capitol, along with busts of Dr. Martin Luther King and Sojourner Truth. While there’s a portrait of Chisholm in the Capitol, her admirers believe she is deserving of additional recognition.

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., is enthused about a statue of Chisholm. Before being elected to Congress in 1998, she was a single mother of two on public assistance in California, eager to earn a degree. As a commuter student at Mills College in Oakland back in the 1970s, she was president of the Black Student Union when the group invited Chisholm to speak on campus.

“She changed the course of my life,” said Lee of the passionate speech the petite dynamo delivered about public service and community advocacy.

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Lee was so inspired by Chisholm’s words that she registered to vote for the first time. Later, she worked on Chisholm’s presidential campaign.

“I served as her delegate at the 1972 Democratic National Convention in Miami,” said Lee. “She became my mentor and helped me launch my political career. I loved Shirley Chisholm.”


Shirley Chisholm – The First Black Congresswoman

Shirley Chisholm is a political icon who paved the way for politics as we know it today. As an active participant for women’s rights and the Civil Rights Movement, her presence and experience would prepare her for a stage unseen by black women before.

During her seven terms as the first black woman to serve in congress, Chisholm set her sights on challenging the system. Unsurprisingly, her tenacity made her a force to be reckoned with. A true visionary indeed, Chisholm sought the presidential nomination in 1972, and her mere presence on the campaign trail was a victory for minorities in politics.

In this episode of Black History in Two Minutes or So, our host Henry Louis Gates Jr., with additional commentary from Kimberlé Crenshaw of UCLA and Columbia Law Schools and Imani Perry of Princeton University, we honor the legacy of Shirley Chisholm and her contributions to the political arena at large.

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Unbought and Unbossed: Shirley Chisholm and the 1972 Presidential Run

Earlier this month, Hillary Clinton clinched the Democratic Presidential nomination, thus becoming the first woman in United States history to lead the ticket of a major political party. However, Clinton was not the first woman to run for President of the United States.

Shirley Chisholm is best known for becoming the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States, and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 1972. Elected to Congress in 1968, Chisholm became the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Congress. She represented New York’s 12th Congressional District from 1968 to 1983.

Chisholm’s campaign slogan, “unbought and unbossed,” recalled her rise from the daughter of working class immigrant parents to her success as a voice for the people in her capacity as Congresswoman. Despite the drive and will to succeed, Chisolm’s campaign only managed to spend $300,000 in funding.

From the start, Chisholm faced struggles and opposition during her 1972 presidential campaign. She was ignored by much of the Democratic establishment, struggled with being seen as a symbol, as opposed to a serious political candidate, and faced opposition from all sides including from prominent black male colleagues. Chisholm expressed her frustrations with this aspect of her campaign a decade later stating, “When I ran for the Congress, when I ran for president, I met more discrimination as a woman than for being black. Men are men.”

Still, Chisolm persisted and later remarked in her book The Good Fight, “I ran for the presidency, despite hopeless odds, to demonstrate the sheer will and refusal to accept the status quo… The next time a woman runs, or a black, a Jew or anyone from a group that the country is ‘not ready’ to elect to its highest office, I believe that he or she will be taken seriously from the start.”

After her political career had come to an end in 1983, Chisolm taught politics and sociology at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Her efforts inspired many to go on to pursue political careers against all odds and she continues to inspire today.


What former presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm said about facing gender discrimination

Editor’s note: Don’t miss the premiere of PBS’ 8-part series, Contenders — 16 for ‘16 tonight at 8:00 p.m. PST with the episode Shirley Chisholm and John McCain — The Straight Talkers. Check your local listings

The year was 1972. U.S. presidential election campaigns were in full swing, with President Richard Nixon seeking a second term. Against the backdrop of domestic unrest after eight years of the Vietnam War, the Black Power movement, and second-wave feminism, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm was making history for the second time. Determined, despite unlikely odds, Chisholm entered the presidential race seeking the democratic nomination, facing off against rivals George McGovern and George C. Wallace.

“I am not the candidate of black America, although I am black and proud,” said Chisholm in a speech announcing her candidacy on Jan. 25 at the Concord Baptist Church in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“I am not the candidate of the women’s movement of this country, although I am a woman, and I am equally proud of that.” America’s first African-American woman presidential candidate declared, “I am the candidate of the people of America.”

She campaigned hard, ardently opposing the Vietnam War and calling to bring the troops back home.

“Use those monies to revitalize and rebuild our cities,” she urged. She called for expanding health benefits to domestic workers, ending job and pay discrimination for women and minorities, and providing greater services to the poor. While she said that busing to achieve a racial balance in public schools was better than doing nothing, she called it an “artificial solution.” The real solution, according the Chisholm, was to address the inequities in the housing market as a means of achieving racially diverse neighborhoods and schools.


“Her campaign, from the beginning, [was] very significant in what it revealed about the political process and also about her,” says historian Ellen Fitzpatrick, author of The Highest Glass Ceiling: Women’s Quest for the American Presidency. Given the ridicule to which Chisholm was subjected throughout her campaign, says Fitzpatrick, “she showed a great deal of courage.”

Even Wallace — her rival on the campaign trail as well as ideologically — told the crowd at one of his own campaign stops: “[Chisholm] says the same thing in Chicago that she says in Florida. I respect people, whether I agree with them or not, who say the same thing and don’t talk out of both sides of their mouths.”

While refusing to be pigeonholed to a subcategory based on her race or gender, Chisholm understood well the barriers she faced precisely because of these factors.

“I have certainly met much more discrimination in terms of being a woman than being black, in the field of politics,” Chisholm once said.

“Being black is definitely a handicap in the United States because racism has been very inherent in [our] institutions,” she said in a 1972 interview with the BBC. African-Americans, she said, were tired of tokenism and ‘look how far you’ve come’ appeasements. African-Americans, she said, “want their just share of this ‘American Dream’ that everybody speaks about.”

Speaking to her experience, she said, “I have certainly met much more discrimination in terms of being a woman than being black, in the field of politics.”

Chisholm repeatedly stressed the need for diversity at the highest levels of government.

“Our government, if [it] indeed is a democratic form of government, must be representative of the different segments of the American society,” she said. “I feel that the cabinet and the department head of this country must have women, must have blacks, must have Indians, must have younger people, and not be completely and totally controlled constantly by white males.”

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While repeatedly questioned for believing that she could be president, Chisholm commanded a certain following among women, college students and minorities. She had already made a name for herself in the American political scene.

Just four years prior to her presidential run, Chisholm had become the first African-American woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress as a member of the House of Representatives. When she was assigned to the less-visible Committee on Agriculture, she protested, arguing that she could be more useful tackling the issues relevant to the constituents in her urban district. “Only nine black people have been elected to Congress and those nine should be used as effectively as possible.” She was reassigned to the Veterans’ Affairs Committee and later to the Committee on Education and Labor and the Rules Committee. She served in Congress for 14 years.

Her presidential run was widely described as merely symbolic, and her name has since largely been relegated to a footnote in the pages of history.

“These comments about it being symbolic [were] part of that process of dismissing her,” says Fitzpatrick. The dismissal, according to Fitzpatrick, was due to societal perception at the time, arguably prevalent even today, that her campaign could only be symbolic because Americans would not elect an African-American woman to our nation’s highest office.

Chisholm didn’t see herself as merely a symbol. “She didn’t say, ‘I’m running for president because I want to be a symbol,’” says Fitzpatrick. “She said, ‘I’m running for president because I want to win. And I want to govern. And I want to change the direction of this country.’”

Chisholm was born in Brooklyn to immigrant parents. Her mother was from Barbados and her father was from Guyana. Before going into politics, she worked as a nursery school teacher and daycare director. She earned an M.A. from Columbia University. In 1964, she was elected to the New York State Assembly, where she served for four years until departing to join Congress in 1968.

She joined her rivals in the primaries at the 1972 Democratic Convention in Miami Beach, Fla. from July 10–13. She received a total of 152 delegates — not nearly enough to secure the nomination — and her presidential bid was brought to an end. As predicted, Senator McGovern secured the Democratic nomination to run against President Nixon, who went on to win re-election.

Chisholm was not the first woman to run for president in the United States. There had been others, most notably Margaret Chase Smith in 1964 and as far back as Victoria Woodhull in1872. Chisholm, like Smith, mounted a significant campaign, competing in the primaries. Chisholm had her name on primary ballots in 12 states. “She received more delegate votes than any woman prior to Hillary Clinton in 2008,” says Fitzpatrick. “So, in that sense she really was a forerunner not enough [to be nominated] or anywhere near that, but she put up a pretty spirited fight.”

After retiring from Congress, Chisholm taught at Mount Holyoke College. In 2005, at age 80, she passed away at her home in Ormond Beach, Fla. In 2015, she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, by President Barack Obama.

This story was produced by PBS member station KCTS 9 in Seattle. You can view the original report here.


Shirley Chisholm’s Historic Presidential Run Helped Lead To This Moment

Sen. Kamala Harris&rsquos nomination for vice president marks a historic first.

As Joe Biden&rsquos running mate, Harris is the first Black woman and the first South Asian American woman to be named a vice presidential nominee on a major-party ticket.

In a speech announcing her candidacy, she acknowledged the legacies of the women who&rsquove run in the past. &ldquoJoe, I&rsquom so proud to stand with you,&rdquo Harris said Wednesday. &ldquoAnd I do so mindful of all the heroic and ambitious women before me whose sacrifice, determination, and resilience makes my presence here today even possible.&rdquo

Harris&rsquos nomination follows the groundbreaking efforts of several women who&rsquove pursued the presidency including Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to run in 1972 for the Democratic nomination Patsy Mink, the first Asian American woman to do so that same year, and Hillary Clinton, the first woman to win a major-party nomination in 2016. (Harris is the third woman to be on a major-party ticket as vice president, along with Sarah Palin in 2008 and Geraldine Ferraro in 1984.)

Miami University history professor Tammy Brown sees Chisholm&rsquos candidacy in particular &mdash and the intersectional policies she promoted &mdash serving as a key milestone that led to this moment.

&ldquoShe bridged so many different constituencies and she was an excellent model of the power of grassroots campaigns,&rdquo Brown told Vox.

In 1968, Chisholm was the first Black woman to win a seat in Congress, and four years later, she ran for the Democratic presidential nomination against Sen. George McGovern, pushing a platform focused on racial and gender equity.

&ldquoIn the end, anti-black, anti-female, and all forms of discrimination are equivalent to the same thing: anti-humanism,&rdquo Chisholm wrote in her book, Unbought and Unbossed, which was titled after a campaign slogan she used to signal independence from party bosses. Harris, during her presidential run in 2019, honored Chisholm in her own campaign messaging as well.


In 2021, Kamala Harris broke long-held barriers to become the vice president of the United States, not only marking the first time a woman had ever held the position, but the first time a Black and South Asian person had as well. Harris is the daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father. Long before this day came, however, other women of color paved the way. Shirley Chisholm, the first Black candidate to seek the nomination for president of the United States from a major political party, was one of those women.

Chisholm, who ran under the slogan &ldquoUnbossed and Unbought,&rdquo had already become the first African American woman to be elected to Congress in 1968, representing New York&rsquos 14th Congressional District. In 1972, when she decided to run for president, she faced much discrimination. Chisholm wasn&rsquot able to participate in televised debates and was only able to give one speech after taking legal action.

Her presidential run came just seven years after the passage of the Voting Rights of Act of 1965, which prohibited racial discrimination and what Dr. Anastasia Curwood, a professor for African American and Africana at the University of Kentucky, describes as the first time the United States had &ldquoa true constitutional democracy with true representation.&rdquo

&ldquoIn the aftermath of that, Chisholm thought that she could carry a coalition of Black voters and women voters, anti-war protestors and poor people and turn them out to vote and get some traction within the Democratic party,&rdquo Curwood told Inside Edition Digital. &ldquoNotice I didn't say she expected she was going to win, but she wanted to put together a coalition of voters to get traction leverage.&rdquo

Curwood said that Chisholm, a Brooklyn native and the daughter of Bajan and Guyanese parents, would say that she &ldquodid run to win&rdquo but that she &ldquodidn&rsquot expect to win.&rdquo All of Chisholm&rsquos opponents were white men. Chisholm also started her campaign with only $40,000.

&ldquoIt's a fine distinction,&rdquo Curwood said. &ldquoAnd what she really wanted to win was delegates to the 1972 Democratic National Convention. The overall object was to push the Democratic party platform to more fully embrace civil and human rights for men and women across the color line.&rdquo

Chisholm had planned to show up with delegates that she could have as currency and throw them behind whichever candidate she thought would do the best job.

&ldquoIt was a coalition. Coalition politics is the idea that we might not all be the same, we might not all share the same racial, gender, economic, LGBT status, but that we all had a common interest. And in her case, the common interest was real democracy, having representation and power distributed equitably around the U.S. electorate,&rdquo Curwood said.

&ldquoIt wasn't so much about getting herself into a certain position, although she was a very ambitious person, she really believed in herself quite deeply and wanted to achieve. She wanted power for those who she saw as having an unfair disadvantage,&rdquo Curwood added.

Chisholm advocated strongly for gender and racial equality, low-income communities and an end to the Vietnam War. She was able to gather the support of women, students and minorities during her presidential campaign and ended up garnering the votes of 152 delegates, which amounted to about 10% of the total votes. George McGovern won the nomination. Despite her loss, her run did inspire many, including Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who was mentored by Chisholm and worked on her campaign.

Before she joined Chisholm&rsquos campaign, Lee had been searching for a campaign to be a part in order to pass one of her government classes at Mills College in Oakland, California, but was readily prepared to fail because she didn&rsquot want to take part in the campaigns of any of the men running at the time.

&ldquoThere were only white guys running,&rdquo Lee told Inside Edition Digital. &ldquoThey didn&rsquot represent the type of president I thought I could work for to help win because I was a young, Black single mom raising two little Black boys and the issues that myself, like so many other Black women were dealing with, had not been part of their agenda or awareness. They didn&rsquot talk about racial justice or childcare or how they were going to help the Black community or low-income communities move forward.&rdquo

During her campaign, Chisholm&rsquos materials were regularly vandalized with sexist and racist messages. When asked why she ran, Chisholm said, &ldquoI ran because somebody had to do it first.&rdquo

Lee recalled the treatment Chisholm faced as she remained in Congress until 1982.

&ldquoI was able to be mentored by Shirley Chisholm and I saw how men in Congress treated her. They treated her with disrespect, they called her all kinds of names,&rdquo Lee said. &ldquoIt was the most misogynistic and racist kind of response to Shirley Chisholm that could be imagined on Capitol Hill, and I say that to share the fact that she endured. She did not back down. She did not let them get to her. She went dead on and confronted their sexism and racism.&rdquo

This year on Inauguration Day, as Vice President Kamala Harris was sworn into office, Lee donned pearls that had belonged to Chisholm. Lee acknowledged that neither she nor Harris would be where they are if not for Chisholm.

Of the day, Lee said, &ldquoIt felt like a full circle moment. I felt like Shirley Chisholm was with [us] that day."

Many would say Chisholm, who died in 2005, would be surprised that it took so long for someone of color and a woman to be in the position.

&ldquoHere we are 50 years later. She would say, 'let&rsquos double our efforts now,'&rdquo Lee said. "She paved the way. She broke that glass ceiling for so many of us, myself included, to be elected to higher office and to public office in general. She would say, &lsquodon&rsquot stop now, keep going.&rsquo&rdquo


Chisholm A Political Trailblazer For Blacks, Women

Shirley Chisholm, Democratic Congresswoman seeking the nomination for president, makes a point during a speech in San Francisco on Tuesday, May 16, 1972.

February is Black History Month and Tell Me More observes the month with a series of short vignettes. In this installment, regular contributor Jolene Ivey shares her black history hero.

I'm Jolene Ivey, a frequent contributor to the Tell Me More parenting segment and a Maryland state delegate from the 47th district. As an African-American woman politician I'm proud to pay tribute to the late U.S. Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. She was exactly the kind of politician I aspire to be: outspoken, fearless and true.

Shirley Chisholm won a seat in the New York State Assembly in 1964, and four years later ran successfully for Congress with the campaign theme, "Shirley Chisholm: Unbought and Unbossed." She was the first black woman elected to Congress.

During a time when it was not popular to do so, she opposed the Vietnam War. Congresswoman Chisholm insisted that money should not be spent for war when our real enemies were racism, poverty and a lack of education.

Our country is indebted to her for her fierce commitment to women's rights. She introduced the bill that brought publicly funded daycare centers to our country. She made sure that domestic workers got unemployment insurance. And she spoke out for a woman's right to pursue any career path, making her a firebrand in her day.

I stand before you today as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the United States. I am not the candidate of black America, although I am black and proud. I'm not the candidate of the women's movement of this country, although I am a woman and I'm equally proud of that. I'm not the candidate of any political bosses or fat cats or special interests. I am the candidate of the people, and my presence before you now symbolizes a new era in American political history.

Congresswoman Chisolm ran for president of the United States in 1972, and was the first woman, and first African American, to do so. She didn't win the Democratic nomination, but she made a crack in the glass ceiling that President Barack Obama broke through in 2008.


What Shirley Chisholm Can Teach 2020 Candidates as They Exit

On Super Tuesday, about a third of Democratic voters will be casting votes for the candidate of their choice. The mainstream media and the candidates themselves have talked a lot about &ldquoelectability,&rdquo assuming that voters should only, and would only, vote for a candidate they think can win. But primaries are about more than selecting a nominee for the general election. In fact, in 1972, Shirley Chisholm ran for president for different reasons: to show that she could, and to use her delegate power as a bargaining chip with the national Democratic Party.

Decades before Barack Obama built a multiracial coalition and Hillary Clinton became the first woman to win a major-party presidential nomination, Shirley Chisholm launched a historic campaign. Chisholm, the first black congresswoman, became both the first black person and the first woman to make a serious bid for the nomination. She had an unshakable amount of confidence in herself and her convictions and took on party bosses, the mainstream media and entrenched interests in the Democratic Party to give voice to young, poor, female, black and brown voters. She pushed to unify these forgotten voters into an effective coalition at the Democratic National Convention, but in the end concerns about electability undermined her attempt. Her campaign shows just how difficult it was, and still is, to build and sustain an electoral coalition.

Chisholm was a congresswoman from Brooklyn, where her district contained much of Bedford-Stuyvesant, a poor black neighborhood. In 1972, Americans nationwide discovered what Chisholm&rsquos constituents and House colleagues already knew: She was a powerhouse speaker with an inspiring democratic vision. Her barely five-foot frame contained a plain-speaking voice that had been bringing college students to their feet along her lecture circuit since her election in 1968.

Chisholm&rsquos politics were, in the coinage of legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw, intersectional. As a black feminist, Chisholm was accustomed to questioning power in all its forms, simultaneously. Chisholm had grown up the daughter of parents who had immigrated from Barbados: a father who was a strong union man and a seamstress mother. She spent her youth eavesdropping on her father&rsquos union meetings and discussing New Deal policies with him. Embracing both anti-racism and anti-sexism, once elected to office she also sought to end the Vietnam War and fought to deploy the powers of the federal government to end poverty.

The decision to run for president, she insisted, was made for her by the women and college students who cheered at her speeches. They then raised money, filed to place her name on the ballot in their states and rented campaign offices. She went along not because she thought she might actually win the nomination or the presidency. Rather, she wanted to show the power of new voices in the Democratic Party: women, African Americans, the poor and youth, and to challenge the authority of conservative Southern white Democrats at the Democratic National Convention. Becoming &ldquoa force to be reckoned with at the convention,&rdquo she also hoped to force the nominee to name a black vice president a woman as secretary of health, education and welfare and a Native American as secretary of the interior.


Shirley Chisholm’s Historic Presidential Run Helped Lead To This Moment

Sen. Kamala Harris&rsquos nomination for vice president marks a historic first.

As Joe Biden&rsquos running mate, Harris is the first Black woman and the first South Asian American woman to be named a vice presidential nominee on a major-party ticket.

In a speech announcing her candidacy, she acknowledged the legacies of the women who&rsquove run in the past. &ldquoJoe, I&rsquom so proud to stand with you,&rdquo Harris said Wednesday. &ldquoAnd I do so mindful of all the heroic and ambitious women before me whose sacrifice, determination, and resilience makes my presence here today even possible.&rdquo

Harris&rsquos nomination follows the groundbreaking efforts of several women who&rsquove pursued the presidency including Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to run in 1972 for the Democratic nomination Patsy Mink, the first Asian American woman to do so that same year, and Hillary Clinton, the first woman to win a major-party nomination in 2016. (Harris is the third woman to be on a major-party ticket as vice president, along with Sarah Palin in 2008 and Geraldine Ferraro in 1984.)

Miami University history professor Tammy Brown sees Chisholm&rsquos candidacy in particular &mdash and the intersectional policies she promoted &mdash serving as a key milestone that led to this moment.

&ldquoShe bridged so many different constituencies and she was an excellent model of the power of grassroots campaigns,&rdquo Brown told Vox.

In 1968, Chisholm was the first Black woman to win a seat in Congress, and four years later, she ran for the Democratic presidential nomination against Sen. George McGovern, pushing a platform focused on racial and gender equity.

&ldquoIn the end, anti-black, anti-female, and all forms of discrimination are equivalent to the same thing: anti-humanism,&rdquo Chisholm wrote in her book, Unbought and Unbossed, which was titled after a campaign slogan she used to signal independence from party bosses. Harris, during her presidential run in 2019, honored Chisholm in her own campaign messaging as well.


Watch the video: Shirley Chisholm 1984 Speech at Community College