She knew that winning was unattainable, but to be a black woman and run for President of the United States, amidst a time of racial and gender inequality is a victory in itself. Her campaign was unorganized, underfunded, and unprepared, but to be a pioneering trailblazer, who changed the facade of American politics speaks volumes about her character. Chisholm story proves that effective leadership is not measured by the performance of the leader, but rather his/her ability to inspire and motivate others to lead.
Sixteen years before Jesse "kept hope alive", Shirley Anita St Hill Chisholm sought the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Thirty six years before Hilary and Barack turned American politics upside down, Mrs Chisholm became the first woman and African American to challenge the concept of what a President should look and act like. Furthermore, at the 1972 Democratic National Convention, she received 152 first ballot votes, this may be insignificant in numbers, but it certainly is monumental in symbolism: To receive first ballot votes meant that there were Americans who were ready for a change in the way we view our political leaders.
I refuse go into why their is a lack of acknowledgment for Mrs Chisholm's heroic effort, but what I will do is give her the utmost respect and praise. Her ability to to create a grassroots political campaign based on the ideas of hope and change set a path for Obama to create his own ideological movement based on the same principles. Her ability to to exemplify female independence in a male dominated field allowed Hilary Clinton to raise the bar for the success of women in politics. Below are a few facts about Shirley Chisholm, to find out more about her life, just use GOOGLE, I'm sure that there is a lot more information you can gather about the life and times of Shirley Chisholm.
- Politician, educator, author
- First African American woman elected to Congress
- June 23, 1972, became first woman and African American to be a major party Presidential candidate
- One of the founding members of Black Congressional Caucus
- Served in Congress from 1969-1982
- Wrote two books: Unbought and Unbossed, The Good Fight
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