50 Years In, Shirley Chisholm’s Historic Victory Offers Inspiration


In a history-making election, plenty of new and unexpected faces — many of them black and brown, many of them female — will now be taking their first steps into their congressional futures.

For inspiration and example, the list of winners that includes Ayanna Pressley, Lucy McBath, Jahana Hayes, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and others might want to learn from the lessons of Shirley Chisholm, the Brooklyn, New York, native who made history 50 years ago as the first African-American woman elected to Congress.

It was the start of a national political career in which Chisholm, who died in 2005, fearlessly and relentlessly stood up and spoke out for such causes as civil and women’s rights and that included a run for president just four years after her first federal win.

“We…

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