Our Hero, Shirley Chisholm
February 21, 2017
(photo courtesy of PBS)
February is a time to celebrate African American History. In honor of Black History Month, we are featuring a great African American woman who changed the U.S. politics: Shirley Chisholm.
With hard work, determination, and courage one person can make a difference. And there is no better proof of this than the awe-inspiring life of Shirley Anita Chisholm, a Mindful Hero. In the face of discrimination, she became a game changer in American politics. She broke through glass ceilings, achieved a lot of “firsts,” and paved a way in politics for other women (particularly African American women).
Born in 1924, in Brooklyn, New York, Shirley Anita St. Hill (later Chisholm) began her career as a nursery school teacher and later a daycare center director. She got into politics at the local level because she believed that the political representation for her district did not adequately reflect the people who actually lived there. She ran for a seat in the U.S. Congress in 1968, and she was the only new woman to enter Congress in 1969.
She spoke her conscious—she supported marginalized people and spoke against the Vietnam War. She was “a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in 1971 and the Congressional Women’s Caucus in 1977.” In 1972, Shirley Chisholm ran for president. She was the first African-American major party presidential candidate. She was also the first African-American woman to ever run for president. Her campaign slogan was “unbought and unbossed.”
Unfortunately, Chisholm didn’t win her party’s presidential nomination and she later retired from politics in 1982. But all of her achievements made a powerful difference. In honor of this Mindful Hero and Black History Month, we have listed a few of Shirley Chisholm’s most famous quotes below. We hope they inspire you and give you courage.
- “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.”
- “In the end, anti-black, anti-female, and all forms of discrimination are equivalent to the same thing – anti-humanism.”
- “I don’t measure America by its achievement but by its potential.”