Shirley Chisholm

The first African American woman in Congress

Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was the first African American woman in Congress (1968) and the first woman and African American to seek the nomination for president of the United States.  She spoke up for women and minorities during her seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1964, Chisholm ran for and became the second African American in the New York State Legislature. In 1968 Chisholm sought—and won—a seat in Congress. Her work supported racial and gender equality, poor people, and ending the Vietnam War. 

Shirley Chisholm’s run for President was filled with discrimination. She was blocked from participating in TV debates, and after taking legal action, was only allowed to make just one speech. She did not win but received many delegate votes.

Newsletter Signup
Skip to content