Writing Services

A+ Writing Service

Custom Essay Writing Services Custom Essay Writing Services

Custom Essay Writing Services
Essay on Shirley Chisholm
A political leader for many years, and a co-founder of the National women’s

Political Caucus, Shirley Chisholm is the one of the most famous African -

American woman in politics. She was the first black woman to be elected to

congress, and also was the first black women to run for president (1972). She

was even asked by bill Clinton to serve as American – ambassador to Jamaica.

But this isn’t her whole life, so in these further paragraphs I plan to tell

you about her great and wonderful life.

In 1924 Shirley Chisholm was born by parents Charles St. Hill and ruby seale,

who had immigrated to Brooklyn from Barbados in the early 1920’s. Shirley was

the oldest out of 4 girls, her other 3 sisters being Odessa, Muriel, and Selma.

When Shirley was 3 her parents sent her to live with her grandmother (on her

mothers side) in Barbados where there was more room to run and play. At her

grandmothers Shirley lived with her 4 cousins. There was no running water, or

electricity here so the children had to do many chores like getting fresh water,

cleaning the house, tending to the garden and feeding animals at the farm.

However the reward was to go to the beach and swim, play, and run in the clear

waters of the Caribbean.

Then in 1934, when Shirley was 10, an event happened that would change her

life forever. Her parents, the St. Hills decided to take Shirley back to

Brooklyn. Brooklyn was very different from her grandmothers farm and Shirley

found herself getting very confused and getting lost in the streets and


The St. Hills were the first blacks in a neighborhood of whites, Jewish

immigrants, and 1st generation Americans. Shirley and her father often had long

talks about politics and social issues. Also the St. Hills friends, West Indian

immigrants , would have long late night discussions about debates and social

politics. They often talked about the problems they faced because of their

color. She would take these discussions in to mind and vowed to make a


Although Shirley and her sisters were among the few blacks at her school, and

among the few of their religion, Shirley was determined to be heard. Shirley was

branded as a trouble maker because she was always willing to do whatever she

needed to be heard. As this was happening she joined many committees and clubs

like the Bedford Political league (Shirley moved to the Bedford neighborhood in

1936). The purpose of the Bedford Political league was to get blacks elected to

every level of government. Shirley was also in the national Association for the

Advancement of Colored People and the League of Women Voters. Then Shirley

decided that it wasn’t fare to judge people on the color of their skin , and

that she wouldn’t spend her whole life fighting racism.

Shirley excelled in highschool and graduated from Girls High in 1942. She

then accepted a scholarship and attended Brooklyn College. After receiving her

BA at Brooklyn college Shirley attended Columbia where she received her masters

Degree. Then in 1949 while still in Columbia University she fell in love and

married a quiet man named Conrad Chisholm.

Although she was becoming more and more famous she still had 2 main obstacles

to overcome, she was black, and was a women. These 2 obstacles limited the

fields she could go into. She then chooses politics remembering the decisions

her and her father had talked about when she was a child. So in 1960 Mrs.

Chisholm formed the Unity Democratic Club, which tried to get black leaders

elected to the New York Assembly. This club was very popular and well-known, and

by 1962 the club had their first victory. Tom Jones, an African – American man

was elected to the New York Assembly. In 1964 Shirley Chisholm decided that she

was tired of doing all the work for other people and decided to run for

assembly. Then in 1964 she was victorious and was elected to the New York

Assembly. When she arrived at the capital she was only 1 of 6 black assembly

members, and she was the only black woman. One of the most important bills an

Assembly woman Chisholm got passed was a program called SEEK. This program

helped young men and women from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Shirley learned many things as an assembly women, and in 1968 she ran for the

U.S. Congress. Shirley used strategies such as speaking Spanish in Spanish and

Puerto Rican areas, and when her counterpart, James Farmer, said that government

was a man’s job in a district where women voters outnumbered men voters. These

strategies and plain old hardwork paid off when in November of 1968 Shirley

Chisholm Beat James Farmer by a two and one half to one margin. While in

Congress Chisholm was placed in the Agriculture Committee, and was assigned the

sub -–committees forestry and rural development. She felt that these two sub

– committees had nothing to do with the poor black, Hispanic and white people

of the Bedford neighborhood. Shrilly was enraged, so she called the speaker of

the house, John McCormick, and she explained her predicament. He agreed to see

what he could do, but no more. Chisholm was not happy with his decision and

decided to go to the floor and speak about her problem. She made a brief, but

powerful speech, and was then assigned to the Veterans Affaires Committee. While

in Congress Shirley choose two major themes, to be a leader for women and

African – Americans across the country. Also, while in Congress Chisholm

fought for jobs, education, enforcement for anti-discrimination laws, and other

social issues, while opposing the Vietnam War and giving more money up for the

war. She was in support of repealing anti-abortion laws, she wanted equal rights

for women, more daycare centers and better working conditions for both men and


The 4 years Shirley Chisholm spent in congress was a good experience for her

as she learned a lot about Congress and politics. She believed that she learned

enough to run for president under a democratic nomination. But the experienced

she lacked and the little money she had caused her defeat at the Democratic

Convention to Goerge McGovern, who later lost to Richard Nixon. Like being the

first black women to be in Congress, she was the first black women to run for

president.With Shirley Chisholm now knowingthat she could probably never be

president because she was a womenshe contiuned her career as a congresswomen

until 1982, when she retired to return to an early childhood dream, teaching.

She tought at Mt. Holyoke College, until she moved to Flordia.

Today Mrs. Chisholm keeps a low profile, but still remains active in politics

and is now writing a book. She is still remembered for being the first black

women in congress, and being the first black women to run for precedence . In my

opinion, Shirley Chisholm was a great, very strong, smart, and has a lot of

courage. Shirley Chisholm once said at a Spelman College speech “Success comes

from doing to the best of your ability what you know in your heart are right

things to do”. I agree 100% with this quote because I think it is wrong to do

things you don’t believe in, and if you want something done you might as well

do the best that you can. I also believe that Shirley Chisholm is a success and

has done successful things for the nation that not many other people are cabable

of doing.
You should cite this paper as follows:

MLA Style
shirley chisholm. EssayMania.com. Retrieved on 12 Oct, 2010 from