“If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”
― Shirley Chisholm
For Black History Month, we want to highlight some of the courageous, trailblazing, and empowering figures that helped to make the progress we’ve seen to date in equality and acceptance. Check out a new post each Monday this month!
Everyone has felt at some time or another that the obstacles before them make going down a specific path impassable. Shirley Chisholm, the first black female congresswoman, felt that way right after she graduated cum laude from Brooklyn College. Not that she let it stop her from finding a different and ultimately successful path. Shirley knew she’d have to prove she could overcome prejudices associated with being a woman and African American in order to secure a spot in the political realm.
Shirley Chisholm’s resume included many titles — medaled debate club member; nursery school teacher; member of the League of Women Voters, NAACP, the Urban League, Democratic Party club, and New York State Legislature; congresswoman; and presidential candidate, to name a few.
She maintained a congressional seat from 1969 to 1983. In 1972, she ran for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, making her the first woman and African American to seek the presidency. Throughout her career, she fought for women’s rights and blazed a trail for others to follow in the political world; showing that even in the face of great odds, persistence and taking it step by step can lead to great things.
“I want to be remembered as a woman … who dared to be a catalyst of change.” - Shirley Chisholm
Interested in pursuing a legal or political career like Shirley Chisholm? Check out NYLF Law & CSI to get a taste of being a lawyer or crime scene investigator, orIntensive Law & Trial, held on the Stanford Law School campus for a more in-depth look at the broad range of legal professions.
All facts sourced from: Michals, PhD., Debra. 2015. “Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005)”. National Women’s History Museum. Retrieved from https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/shirley-chisholm