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Remembering Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman to run for President

Posted at 5:17 PM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 17:52:13-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — U.S. Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm was the first African American woman to serve in the House of Representatives.

Her career in Congress started in 1969, she advocated for education, children and families. In 1972, she became the first African American and first woman to run for President of the United States.

"She was a very strong woman you know she was very strong in her convictions and her beliefs. And she fought hard against a lot of social obstacles," said Laura Fitzgerald, Director or Community Engagement at Forest Lawn.

Chisholm was born in Brooklyn in 1924, and after marrying Western New York native Arthur Hardwick Jr., they made Williamsville their home.

After graduating college, she worked as a nursery school teacher and a director of daycare centers.

She then got her Master's Degree in early childhood education from Columbia University in 1952, and went on to work for New York City’s Division of Day Care as a consultant.

"She was very involved in education and social justice. She was a member of the National Organization of Women, NAACP," said Fitzgerald.

Chisholm became a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971.

She died in 2005 and is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery, her grave site engraved with her campaign slogan "Unbought & Unbossed."

In January of last year, Assemblyman Sean Ryan announced plans to create a memorial for her here in Buffalo.

"She really was a quite the trailblazer and she deserves one," said Fitzgerald.

His office said they have secured the funding for the memorial, which should be ready by 2022 for the 50th anniversary of her presidential run.

A five to six member committee has been created to decide the location of the monument. The monument will cost between $100,000 and $150,000.