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Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm
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Brian Lanker, 31 Aug 1947 - 13 Mar 2011
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm, 30 Nov 1924 - 1 Jan 2005
Gelatin silver print
Image: 71.2 × 71.2 cm (28 1/16 × 28 1/16")
Sheet/Mount: 81.7 × 75.2 cm (32 3/16 × 29 5/8")
Mat: 88.3 × 86.8 cm (34 3/4 × 34 3/16")
Frame: 91.1 × 89.7 cm (35 7/8 × 35 5/16")
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses
Nature & Environment\Animal\Cat\Lion
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm: Female
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm: Politics and Government\State Legislator\New York
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm: Politics and Government\Presidential candidate
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm: Education and Scholarship\Educator
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm: Education and Scholarship\Educator\Lecturer
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm: Education and Scholarship\Educator\Professor\University
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm: Politics and Government\US Congressman\New York
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm: Education and Scholarship\Administrator\School administrator
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; partial gift of Lynda Lanker and a museum purchase made possible with generous support from Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker, Agnes Gund, Kate Kelly and George Schweitzer, Lyndon J. Barrois Sr. and Janine Sherman Barrois, and Mark and Cindy Aron
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
© Brian Lanker Archive
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Brooklyn, New York
“But in spite of it all, I went to the Democratic convention in 1972 and did my thing and began to open the way for women to think that they can run [for president].”
— Shirley Chisholm
Shirley Chisholm’s fierce independence was underscored by the tagline “Unbought and Unbossed,” which she adopted for her 1972 presidential campaign. Chisholm began her career in early childhood education in New York City but turned to public service full-time with her election to the state’s General Assembly (1964–68). When she won New York’s Twelfth District seat in 1968, she became the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress. During her seven terms (1969–83), Chisholm emerged as an outspoken advocate for civil rights and a strong opponent of the Vietnam War. A co-founder of the National Organization for Women, she also was an ardent supporter of women’s issues.
In 1972, Chisholm sought the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. Her bid was unsuccessful, but her pathbreaking candidacy raised issues of importance to African Americans and women. “The door is not open yet,” she said, “but it is ajar.”
Nacida en Brooklyn, Nueva York
“A pesar de todo, fui a la convención demócrata en 1972 y me presenté, y empecé a abrir camino para que las mujeres concibieran que pueden postularse [para la presidencia].”
—Shirley Chisholm
La fiera independencia de Shirley Chisholm quedó subrayada en el lema de su campaña presidencial de 1972: “Sin precio y sin jefe”. Chisholm trabajó en la enseñanza de niños pequeños en Nueva York, pero se dedicó por completo al servicio público cuando fue elegida para la Asamblea General del estado (1964–68). Al ganar en 1968 el escaño de representante por el 12do distrito de Nueva York, pasó a ser la primera mujer negra en el Congreso de EE.UU. Durante sus siete términos (1969–83) se distinguió como firme defensora de los derechos civiles y opositora de la guerra de Vietnam. Cofundó la Organización Nacional para la Mujer y abogó con fervor por los derechos femeninos.
En 1972, Chisholm buscó la nominación presidencial por el Partido Demócrata. No tuvo éxito, pero su candidatura pionera planteó cuestiones importantes para los afroamericanos y las mujeres. “La puerta no está abierta aún”, dijo, “pero sí entreabierta”.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery