Shirley Chisholm : The First African American Woman

1278 Words Nov 10th, 2015 6 Pages
Shirley Chisholm was born in Brooklyn, New York in the mid 1920’s. Her parents were working class immigrants from Barbados. Chisholm was the first African American woman elected to the New York state legislature and to Congress, and she also made a run for the Democratic Party nomination for President. Many people regarded her as a feminine activist and a lifelong advocate for fair treatment, access to education, and decent wages, just to name a few. Chisholm was an independent woman who declared herself “Unbought and Unbossed.”
When the Great Depression took a turn for the worst, Chisholm’s parent sent her and her sisters back home to Barbados to stay with their grandmother. Chisholm received a more rigorous education in Barbados than the public schools in Brooklyn, focusing intensely on reading and writing. Having black teachers allowed Chisholm to view people of color as competent and professionally successful, which she may not have experienced in Brooklyn.
Chisholm gained a strong sense of self and pride while living in Barbados, mainly from her grandmother and aunt. Winslow states, “Chisholm was raised by two strong hard working women, her grandmother and aunt, who no doubt shaped her later feminist consciousness” (12). Not only did she view her grandmother and aunt as role models, but also her teachers, ministers, and police officers. At the age of ten, Chisholm moved back to Brooklyn to be with her parents. In Brooklyn she experienced an environment that was…

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