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More than 100 community members celebrate the legacy of the first African American congresswoman

Posted at 11:20 PM, Mar 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-16 23:20:16-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — In celebration of National Women's History Month, community members paid tribute on Saturday to former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm.

In 1968, Chisholm became the first African American woman in Congress.

Four years later in 1972, she became the first female presidential candidate.

To highlight her accomplishments, and teach a younger generation about her, members of the community were invited to the Merriweather Library to learn more.

At least 100 people of different age groups filled the auditorium.

And seven African-American female judges and legislators shared their journeys to becoming a female in power, and how Chisholm inspired them to be "Unbought and Unbossed."

"When we think of her that's what we think about. She was strong-willed, she was the people's voice," said Erie County Legislator Barbara Miller-Williams. "She stood up against obstacles when it was not popular for women, and particularly African American women, to enter into the world of politics."

The inter-generational event brought women together to celebrate one another.

"Just for women, young, today, knowing that you have a voice in this world. You have an influence and use it unapologetically. That's what it means to be unbought and unbossed , and that's what Shirley Chisholm was the epitome of," said Amber Quinney, who was co-moderating the program.

Program host Somalia Doyle said she wants to get into law school. She expressed some of her concerns to the judges on the panel, and said she found their insight inspiring.

"If they can do it, I can do it. The next generation can do it. So that was important to me," she said.

"You don't let anybody boss you. You don't let yourself be in a position of being bought out. If you're going to be a great public servant, in her words, you have to remain unbossed and unbought," said Miller-Williams.