Black History Month
The first African American Congresswoman, Shirley Anita Chisholm represented a newly apportioned U.S. House district centered in Brooklyn, New York. Elected in 1968 because of her roots in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, Chisholm catapulted into the national limelight by virtue of her race, gender and outspoken personality. In 1972, in a largely symbolic undertaking, she campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination. But "Fighting Shirley" Chisholm's frontal assault on many congressional traditions and her reputation as a crusader limited her influence as a legislator.
"I am the people's politician," she once told the New York Times. "If the day should ever come when the people can't save me, I'll know I'm finished. That's when I'll go back to being a professional educator."
To learn more about Shirley Chisholm, go to the Black Americans in Congress page here.