Shirley Chisholm

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Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm (November 30, 1924 – January 1, 2005) was an American politician, educator and author. In 1968, she became the first African American woman elected to Congress, representing New York's 12th District for seven terms until 1983. On January 23, 1972, she became the first African American candidate for a major party nomination for President of the United States, winning 162 delegates - the closest any woman has ever come to winning the nomination.


Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm
  • The difference between de jure and de facto segregation is the difference between open, forthright bigotry and the shamefaced kind that works through unwritten agreements between real estate dealers, school officials, and local politicians.
    • Unbought and Unbossed (1970).
  • I was well on the way to forming my present attitude toward politics as it is practiced in the United States; it is a beautiful fraud that has been imposed on the people for years, whose practitioners exchange gelded promises for the most valuable thing their victims own: their votes. And who benefits the most? The lawyers.
    • Unbought and Unbossed (1970).
  • When morality comes up against profit, it is seldom that profit loses.
    • Unbought and Unbossed (1970).
  • The Constitution they wrote was designed to protect the rights of white, male citizens. As there were no black Founding Fathers, there were no founding mothers -- a great pity, on both counts. It is not too late to complete the work they left undone. Today, here, we should start to do so.
    • For the Equal Rights Amendment, August 10, 1970.


  • I don't measure America by its achievement but by its potential.
  • Of my two handicaps, being female put many more obstacles in my path than being black.
  • The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says, 'It's a girl.'