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  4. Shirley Chisholm

In 1968, she became the first black woman elected to the United States Congress, and she represented New York's 12th congressional district for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1972, she became the first black candidate for a major party's nomination for President of the United States, and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, as well as the first woman to appear in a United States presidential debate.

In 2015, Chisholm was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Secretary of the House Democratic Caucus
In office
January 3, 1977 – January 3, 1981
Leader Tip O'Neill
Preceded by Patsy Mink
Succeeded by Geraldine Ferraro
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 12th district
In office
January 3, 1969 – January 3, 1983
Preceded by Edna Kelly
Succeeded by Major Owens
Member of the
New York State Assembly
In office
January 1, 1965 – December 31, 1968
Preceded by Thomas Jones
Succeeded by Thomas R. Fortune
Constituency 17th district (1965)
45th district (1966)
55th district (1967–1968)
Personal details

Shirley Anita St. Hill

November 30, 1924
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died January 1, 2005 (aged 80)
Ormond Beach, Florida, U.S.
Resting place Forest Lawn Cemetery
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Conrad Chisholm (m. 1949; div. 1977)
Arthur Hardwick, Jr.(m. 1977; his death 1986)
Education Brooklyn College (BA)
Columbia University (MA)


Her successes in the legislature included getting unemployment benefits extended to domestic workers. She also sponsored the introduction of a SEEK program (Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge) to the state, which provided disadvantaged students the chance to enter college while receiving intensive remedial education.

In 1984, The National Black Women's Political Caucus was established during the presidential campaign of Geraldine Ferraro. African American women from various political organizations convened to set forth a political agenda emphasizing the needs of women of African descent. Chisholm was chosen as its first chair.

In February 2005, Shirley Chisholm '72: Unbought and Unbossed, a documentary film, aired on U.S public television. It chronicled Chisholm's 1972 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. It was directed and produced by independent African-American filmmaker Shola Lynch. The film was featured at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004. On April 9, 2006, the film was announced as a winner of a Peabody Award.

pdfShirley Chisholm

pdfShirley Chisholm - For the Equal Rights Amendment

pdfShirley Chisholm Effect Black Women in Politics


Chisholm's speech "For the Equal Rights Amendment", given in 1970, is listed as No. 91 in American Rhetoric's Top 100 Speeches of the 20th Century (listed by rank).Top 100 Speeches by WOMEN

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