#SeeHer Story Commemorates Shirley Chisholm, the First Black Woman to Run for President
#SeeHer Story airs on PEOPLE.com and @PeopleTV social handles
Shirley Chisholm wanted to make a name for herself as a changemaker in America — a title she earned as the first black woman elected to Congress, as well as to run for president.
To remember the woman who broke barriers in politics and beyond, #SeeHer Story will celebrate Chisholm in this week’s episode. The goal of #SeeHer Story, a digital video series from Katie Couric Media and PEOPLE, is to recognize female trailblazers throughout the past 100 years and celebrate how they’ve helped to shape history and culture.
As this year marks the centennial anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, the series hopes to commemorate such an important time for women in history by recognizing fearless women who have made strides for others to follow in their footsteps.
Chisholm was born in Brooklyn in 1924 — a city which she would later represent in Congress.
After attending Brooklyn College, Chisholm worked as a teacher and later an education consultant for the state of New York, where her passion for politics began to develop.
In 1968, she ran for the House of Representatives, winning her seat with 67 percent of the vote.
Her slogan “Unbossed and Unbought” helped her to become the first black woman elected to Congress.
“I am the only unbought and unbossed politician, and I mean that literally. And I think that you have to recognize that because I am not white, and because I am not a male, that I am not going to get the blessings of the power structure in this country,” she said in her speech, as shown in the video.
And in keeping with her goal to pave the way for other women, Chisholm hired an all-female staff for her Washington office.
In 1972, Chisholm made history again as the first black woman to run for president.
While she lost the nomination after a hard-fought campaign, Chisholm returned to Washington to serve seven terms in Congress.
She used her voice in 1982 to begin speaking and teaching, trying to get young people more involved in politics.
“People! We have it within our grasp. We have it within our grip. We have it. We can turn things around in this country,” she said in the clip.
The pioneer in politics died in 2005, but her story continues to live on.
She was honored with a stamp, state park, and a statue in her memory is in the works.
Her life story is set to be the subject of an upcoming movie, and later in a TV show in which she will be played by Uzo Aduba.
Chisolm said, “I want to be remembered as a catalyst for change in America” — and indeed, she is.