Culture

Brooklyn Opens New State Park Named After Late Civil Rights Leader Shirley Chisholm

Brooklyn Opens New State Park Named After Late Civil Rights Leader Shirley Chisholm

During the fourth of July weekend, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the opening of the first phase of Brooklyn’s new park, Shirley Chisholm State Park. 

According to News 12, the $20 million project is part of Cuomo’s Vital Brooklyn Initiative, which includes more community parks, gardens, playgrounds and recreation centers in the New York borough.  

Untapped Cities reports that Chisholm’s park, which is New York City’s largest state park, will be 407 acres when completed and will include ten miles of biking and hiking trails, as well as a pier for fishing and picnicking. Additionally, the park will feature a colorful mural of Chisholm by street artist Danielle Mastrion and a bike library where visitors can borrow bikes for free.

“Shirley Chisholm fought to improve the health and wellness of underserved communities, a legacy we are carrying on through the Vital Brooklyn Initiative, so we are proud to dedicate this park in memory of her leadership and accomplishments,” said Cuomo during the park’s ribbon cutting ceremony. 

Chisholm, who is widely recognized as a fighter for women’s rights, was the first African-American woman to be elected to Congress in 1968, representing New York’s 12th congressional district. In 1972, she continued to be a trailblazer in politics when she became the first African-American woman to run for president. 

In 2015, ten years after her death, President Barack Obama honored Chisholm’s legacy by awarding her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award. 

Aside from having a state park named in her honor, Chisholm will also have a new monument dedicated to her in the Prospect Park neighborhood of Brooklyn and a photograph in a New York City Hall exhibition. A film on her life and legacy is also slated to be released soon, with Viola Davis starring in and producing the project.