“The next time a woman runs, or a black, or a Jew or anyone from a group that the country is ‘not ready’ to elect to its highest office, I believe that he or she will be taken seriously from the start … I ran because somebody had to do it first.” --Shirley Chisholm
Denise Oliver Velez, Daily Kos
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Shirley Chisholm: The first black woman elected to Congress, and first to run for the Democratic nomination for President. Attribution: Kadir Nelson in the Collection of the US House of Representatives
Sunday Feb 21, 2016 | As we move through the last year of Barack Obama’s presidency, and as we watch Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders vie for the Democratic Party nomination, my thoughts turn to the person who became the first black woman to be elected to Congress in 1968, and was also the first black woman to run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 1972. I am, of course, thinking of Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm.
In one dynamic package, Mrs. Chisholm combined many of the intersectional elements we have in front of us in today’s Democratic Party. She opened the campaign doors for African Americans and for women. She also took on the establishment, refusing to be bowed or cowed by the weight of the innumerable powerful interests that shape our political landscape. The essence of her campaign slogan—“Unbought and unbossed”—has been adopted by many who came after her.
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders owe her props.
Denise Oliver Velez: Feminist, Activist, former Young Lords Party and Black Panther Party member, applied cultural anthropologist
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