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Shirley Chisholm, African American Politican and Presidential Candidate

Page history last edited by Robert W. Maloy 2 years, 7 months ago

external image Shirley_Chisholm.jpg

Shirley Chisholm, member of the U.S. House of Representatives (D-NY), announcing her candidacy for President, September 1972



Connecting Standard

United States History II

Evaluate short- and long-term accomplishments of the Civil Rights Movement



"If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair."





  • First African American Woman Elected to Congress, 1968 


  • First Black Candidate for a Major Party's Presidential Nomination, 1972 


  • First Woman to Run for the Democratic Party's Presidential Nomination


  • She won the state primaries in Louisiana and Mississippi in 1972


  • Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom Posthumously, 2015

external image Shirley_Chisholm_for_President_button_Womens_Museum.jpg



Shirley Chisholm Biography from the United States House of Representatives

See also, Shirley Anita Chisholm from the National Women's History Museum

Before Hillary Clinton, There Was Shirley Chisholm, from BBC News

When Shirley Chisholm Ran for President, Few Would Say: "I'm with Her" Smithsonian Magazine (April 25, 2016)






  Multimedia Resources

Chisholm '72: Unbought and Unbossed

Shirley Chisholm: The First Black Congresswoman


First Black Woman to Run for US President

  • includes clips of Chisholm giving speeches, quotes of hers and a speech that President Obama gave to recognize her accomplishments 


Before Barack Obama and Maxine Waters There was Shirley Chisholm


Seat at the Table Project Guide and Lesson Plan, Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate


Kennedy Institute Announces Trailblazers Showcased in a Seat at the Table Exhibit



Primary Sources


"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."


quoted in 12 Facts about Shirley Chisholm, the First African-American to Run for President, Mental Floss (January 21, 2019)



Equal Rights for Women a speech in the House of Representatives (May 21, 1969).

  • This source includes questions for discussion with students from Anti-Defamation League

My Bid for the Presidency, Oral History Interview with Shirley Chisholm from the National Visionary Project on YouTube

The National Black Political Convention and Shirley Chisholm

Major African American Office Holders Since 1641

Victoria Woodhull

Victoria Woodhull

Women Who Ran Before Hillary: I Cannot Vote But I Can Be Voted For


  • Victoria Woodhull, 1872


  • Belva Lockwood, 1884


  • Margaret Chase Smith, 1964


  • Shirley Chisholm, 1972


  • Ellen McCormick, 1976


  • Lenora Fulani, 1988 & 1992


  • Jill Stein, 2012 & 2016




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