Monday, October 13, 2008

Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed

Before Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton made history in 2008, there was Shirley Chisholm, who started construction on their road in 1972.

An advocate for the poor, communities of color, women, working people, and young people, Chisholm became the first black woman elected to U.S. Congress, and later, the first black and woman to run a serious campaign for the U.S. President in 1972. In fact, she is considered the only woman to date (until Hillary in 2008) to have even been a contender.

I have seen this documentary, Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed, many times. I always learn something new. Fascinating film. Fascinating woman. If you get a chance to see it, you should. Check out another official website for the film, Chisholm 72.

In 1972, Shirley Chisholm ran for the Democratic presidential nomination. Though many said it was more symbolic, she (and history) assessed it to be groundbreaking, serious, and a way to pave the road for women, people of color, and the poor to run for president. In fact, she racked up enough delagates along the primary race to play a major role in the Democratic platform and ticket in 1972.

In her book, The Good Fight, she wrote, "I ran for the presidency, despite the hopeless odds, to demonstrate the sheer will and refusal to accept the status quo. The next time a woman runs, or a black, a Jew, or anyone from a group that the country says is 'not ready' to elect to its highest offices, I believe that he or she will be taken seriously from the start."

Now, some 36 years later, we're seeing the road she paved has made it possible for people like Barack, Hillary, and even Carol and Al and Jesse to run serious campaigns.

Based on what I saw in the documentary, Chisholm was a fierce, strong woman, who was not afraid to speak her mind, rattle the powers that be, and always had intelligent and assertive statements to make. She was definitely unbossed and unbought.

Definetely a role model and someone to add to your "to know about" list. And definitely another reason you should vote for CHANGE in just a few short weeks.

1 comment:

LadyLee said...

That sounds good. I will definitely have to look out for that one.

Sometimes, we as a people need to at least "see" one of us do something extraordinary like this. That only gives us the courage to know that it is possible for us to dream just as big, and actually go for it!