Shirley Chisholm November 30, 1924 - January 1, 2005
Before there was a Sheila Jackson Lee, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Barbara Lee or Kamala Harris, there was Shirley Chisholm. Being the first to accomplish a great feat is difficult. Carrying the burdens of generations of systematic oppression and disapproval of your entire being is not easy to overcome. Despite this reality, Chisholm became the first of many.
Chisholm became the first African-American woman elected to Congress (1968), where she served an impressive seven terms. She was as a member of the Education and Labor Committee and helped establish the Black Caucus. As a congresswoman Chisholm was a stalwart advocate for social justice and equal education rights.
Chisholm was the first African-American female to have her name officially included on a major party ticket when she ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 1972.
Chisholm authored two books, "Unbought and Unbossed" published in 1970, then "The Good Fight" published in 1973. After retiring from Congress, Chisholm became a professor at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts.