Shirley Chisholm

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Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman to enter Congress. She had a long history of Communist Party USA front affiliation, but entered Congress through the Democratic Party in New York's 11th district.

In 1972 Chisholm made an unsuccessful run for the Democratic presidential nomination against George McGovern.

One of her campaign workers was Barbara Lee who was inspired by the experience to seek out her own political career.[1]

National Women's Political Caucus

Betty Friedan joined other leading feminists, such as Gloria Steinem, Shirley Chisholm, Fannie Lou Hamer, Bella Abzug, and Myrlie Evers-Williams in founding the National Women's Political Caucus in 1971.[2]

Founding Members CBC

The following were founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus:[3]


In 1981 Shirley Chisholm was a Vice President of Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization[4].

The Rainbow

According to Paul Ortiz;

Likewise, there were many Obama activists who had campaigned for the Rev. Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988. It is impossible to imagine Senator Obama's victory without the precedent of Jackson's Rainbow Coalition. The Rainbow excited and recruited tens of thousands of gay, Latino, Native American, white, Asian, and African-Americans into electoral politics, social movements and union organizing in the US in the 1980s. The Rainbow sustained and supported numerous progressive politicians, including Paul Wellstone, Tammy Baldwin and Harold Washington. The Rainbow Coalition - and Jackson as leader - had many limitations. Even so, the organization provided one of the few spaces for progressive movement organizing to take place in the Age of Reagan. The Rainbow increased working-class voter registration, promoted Shirley Chisholm for vice president, stood in solidarity with the Pittston coal strike, and was a counterweight to the conservative Democratic Leadership Council.[5]

The Black Scholar

Chisholm was a contributor to The Black Scholar.[6]

External links