Shirley Chisholm !
In 1964, Chisholm ran for and was elected to the New York State Legislature. In 1968, she ran as the Democratic candidate for New York’s 12th District congressional seat, and was elected to the House of Representatives. Defeating Republican candidate James Farmer, Chisholm became the first black woman elected to Congress. Chisholm joined theCongressional Black Caucus in 1971 as one of its founding members.
In the 1972 U.S. presidential election, she made a bid for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. She survived three assassination attempts during the campaign. She campaigned in 12 states and won the Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Jerseyprimaries earning 152 delegates. However, she lost the hotly contested primaries to George McGovern
Chisholm created controversy when she visited rival and ideological opposite George Wallace in the hospital soon after his shooting in May 1972, during the 1972 presidential primary campaign. Several years later, when Chisholm worked on a bill to give domestic workers the right to a minimum wage, Wallace helped gain votes of enough Southern congressmen to push the legislation through the House.
She opposed the American involvement in the Vietnam War and the expansion of weapon developments. During the Jimmy Carter administration, she called for better treatment of Haitian refugees.In the lyrics of the 1988 Biz Markie song “Nobody Beats the Biz”, Biz says: “Make you co-op-er-ate with the rhythm, that is what I give em/ Reagan is the pres but I voted for Shirley Chisholm”
In 1999, Redman and Method Man released a track on the album, Black out called “Maaaad Crew”, which contains the words: “Clinton is the president I still voted for Shirley Chisholm.” Later, in 2006, LL Cool J echoed this sentiment on his album Todd Smith, with the lyric: “George Bush is the Prez, but I voted for Shirley Chisholm.”
In the 2003 song “Spread”, Andre 3000 of Outkast sang, “You’re the prism / Shirley Chisholm / was the first,” referencing her being the first black woman member of Congress and the first black presidential candidate for one of the major parties.
She died Jan. 1, 2005 (aged 80)
Chisholm wrote two autobiographical books.
- Chisholm, Shirley (1970). Unbought and Unbossed.
- Chisholm, Shirley (1973). The Good Fight.