Shirley Chisholm for President

To be honest this is the first time in my years of studying history that this woman has come to attention. Shirley Chisholm is the first African American woman to run for the Presidential Office. The First African American to wish to run as a presidential candidate from one of the major parties. She went up against the status quo throughout her political career. Beginning with becoming the first African American women to be elected as a U.S. Congresswoman in a New York District. Only four years after that she had her sights set on the presidential nomination.

This election would be historical in its own way, the republican nomination would be given to Richard Nixon. This was after the events at Watergate but before the public knew Nixon was involved. His opponent from the Democratic party would not be Shirley Chisholm in the end but George McGovern. He lost to Nixon by a land slide.

Shirley Chisholm knew her odds in 1972 were not in her favor. Many believed that her end goal was not to receive the presidential nomination but could gather enough delegates to ask for cooperation from the other nominees. She wanted to fight for equal rights of women, African Americans, and Native Americans.

Shirley Chisholm would have a large turnout but many feared that if they voted for her then their vote would not really mean anything. The democratic citizens top priority was stopping the Republican vote, Richard Nixon from becoming president of the United States. There were those who supported Chisholm, but others felt angered by the idea of an African American woman running. Other politicians and many journalists did not take her bid seriously and would even go as far to say that being a woman would be a mental hindrance. She did not publicly fight against any specific person or organization, but she did speak her beliefs about equality for all. There were many times that the article states where her posters would be written across with the N word and offensive images.

Shirley Chisholm died in 2005 and was unable to see the nomination and election of Barack Obama. Yet, it was her first steps into just trying for a nomination that influenced the history of African Americans and women in politics.

Reference: https://www.history.com/news/shirley-chisholm-presidential-campaign-george-wallace

One Reply to “Shirley Chisholm for President”

  1. That truly would have been historic and a great step forward for the United States. It’s an absolute shame we lost her in 2005. Her involvement and attempted bid in 1972 is amazing as well. Also, the George Wallace angle would be very interesting in her story. Thank you for sharing this!

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