Friday, March 14, 2008


Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm (November 30, 1924 – January 1, 2005) was an American politician, educator and author. She was a Congresswoman, representing New York’s 12th District for seven terms from 1968 to 1983. In 1968, she became the first African American woman elected to Congress. On January 23, 1972, she became the first major party African American candidate for President of the United States. She won 152 delegates.

• I was the first American citizen to be elected to Congress in spite of the double drawbacks of being female and having skin darkened by melanin. When you put it that way, it sounds like a foolish reason for fame. In a just and free society it would be foolish.
That I am a national figure because I was the first person in 192 years to be at once a congressman, black and a woman proves, I think, that our society is not yet either just or free.

• I want history to remember me not just as the first black woman to be elected to Congress, not as the first black woman to have made a bid for the presidency of the United States, but as a black woman who lived in the 20th century and dared to be herself.

• Of my two “handicaps” being female put more obstacles in my path than being black.

• I’ve always met more discrimination being a woman than being black.

• My God, what do we want? What does any human being want? Take away an accident of pigmentation of a thin layer of our outer skin and there is no difference between me and anyone else. All we want is for that trivial difference to make no difference.

• Racism is so universal in this country, so widespread and deepseated, that it is invisible because it is so normal.

• We Americans have a chance to become someday a nation in which all racial stocks and classes can exist in their own selfhoods, but meet on a basis of respect and equality and live together, socially, economically, and politically.

• In the end antiblack, antifemale, and all forms of discrimination are equivalent to the same thing - antihumanism.


1 comment:

  1. I remember her as a congresswoman that could not get over the fact that some people were black. I think she desperately desired to be white. When other congressmen tried to work with her she pushed them away because she felt they were pushing white ideas on her. She was an obstacle to good government and a pain in the rear.