DCBigPappa's Blog

Politics & Pop Culture from a homocon.

Black History Month: Shirley Chisholm


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 Congressional District for seven terms from 1969 to 1983.  In 1968, she became the first black woman elected to Congress.  On January 25, 1972, she became the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.  She received 152 first-ballot votes at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

As a freshman Member of Congress, Chisholm was assigned to the House Agricultural Committee.  Given her urban district, she felt the placement was irrelevant to her constituents and shocked many by asking for reassignment.  She was then placed on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.  Soon after, she voted for Hale Boggs as House Majority Leader over John Conyers.  As a reward for her support, Boggs assigned her to the much-prized Education and Labor Committee, which was her preferred committee.  She was the third highest-ranking member of this committee when she retired from Congress.

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