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    • Imported from USA.
    Shirley Chisholm, a Democrat from New York, was the first black woman elected to the United States Congress (in 1969), and then--long before the likes of Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton--the first African American of either gender to seek a major party's presidential nomination, an effort recounted in Unbought & Unbossed. Chisholm, who died in January 2005 (the 76-minute documentary was produced the previous year), undoubtedly knew that her chances of winning her party's 1972 nomination, let alone the general election, were nil; she ran, she said, to "shake up the system." But while her quest may have been hopeless (as it turned out, so was that of George McGovern, the eventual nominee, who lost to incumbent Richard Nixon in a landslide of historic proportions), it was hardly quixotic. Well-educated, articulate, and tough, Chisholm faced plenty of opposition, including from women and other black politicians; she was even physically attacked on the "Chisholm Trail," as she called her campaign ('72 was also the year that Alabama governor George Wallace, another would-be Democratic nominee, was shot and paralyzed). But she stayed the course all the way up to the Democratic convention in Miami, when she finally released her delegates to McGovern, and continued serving in the House of Representatives until 1983. Whether or not Shirley Chisholm met her goal of becoming "a catalyst for change," as she planned, is arguable. But that she had guts and the strength of her convictions is beyond debate. --Sam Graham
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    Chisholm '72 - Unbought & Unbossed

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