Salute to the Mothers of our conscious struggle who sacrificed much, so that we could have a tomorrow and to all the courageous Sisters who just weren’t having any of it…
1. Angela Davis 2. Assata Shakur 3. Kathleen Cleaver 4. Sojourner Truth 5. Harriet Tubman 6. Rosa Parks 7. Fannie Lou Hamer 8. Shirley Chisolm 9. Sis. Minister Ava Muhammad 10. Two Sisters who weren’t having it!
@PrisonCulture on Twitter started the #myfeminismlookslike hashtag this morning and many women are sharing images of what makes them think of feminism. She tweeted: “In honor of Queen Bey’s visual album, I was thinking of what #myfeminismlookslike. So I am going to share my visual album. Join in…”
I write…a lot. I have over 700 essays here alone. But I love images too. Photographer here. And making this collage has revitalized my spirit in such a way I cannot even describe. And yes, Beyoncé is included in my perception of womanism, empowerment, inner and outer beauty, of contradictions, of humanity. And her new album BEYONCÉtruly speaks to me in a way similar to how The Electric Lady by Janelle Monáe does. Music is a part of womanism for me. It teaches and it heals. And both Janelle and Bey are here. As are our foremothers. And ancestors. And contemporaries. And academics. And this isn’t an exhaustive collage. Just a taste of BLACK WOMAN EXCELLENCE. I couldn’t fit every photo even if I wanted to but they reside in my heart no less; all those not shown here reside in my heart.
I just needed a few photos to keep my fist raised and to flick my hair to. That’s all.
Shirley Chisholm for President 1972: Unbought and Unbossed
In 1969, Shirley Chisholm became the first African-American woman elected to Congress. She advocated for minority rights, strongly opposed the Vietnam War and was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. She would serve seven terms in office.
In 1972, Chisholm became the first African-American to make a run for a major party’s presidential nomination. Later, in her book, The Good Fight, she wrote, “I ran for the presidency, despite hopeless odds, to demonstrate the sheer will and refusal to accept the status quo.”
Women on 20s thinks so. Its campaign is aiming to get a woman’s face on the twenty-dollar bill by
2020, the anniversary of women’s suffrage. Women on 20s
lists 15 possible candidates and invites voters to cast their choice
for at least three historical women on the list. Candidates at this
point include: Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Sojourner Truth, Rosa
Parks, Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, and nine others.
The campaign is focused on the $20 bill specifically so that a fresh
female face can replace the stale visage of President Andrew Jackson (no
one would dare remove the noble Abe). The site argues that Jackson is
an obvious choice for removal for two reasons. For one, Jackson was
behind the horrific Trail of Tears in the 1830s, the mass relocation of
Cherokee Indians that resulted in the deaths of thousands. Secondly,
Jackson was a major proponent of “hard money” over paper money, so it’s
strange that we now count his countenance as a major symbol of American
Today we honor a true pioneer, a catalyst for change in America! Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was born on November 30th, 1924 in Brooklyn New York to Barbadian parents. She was a nursery school teacher and later became a director of the Hamilton-Madison Child Care Center. She then became an educational consultant for New York City’s Bureau of Child Welfare. Ms. Chisholm became involved in several organizations including the League of Women Voters and the Seventeenth Assembly District Democratic Club sparking her interest in politics. She ran for New York State Assembly and was elected in 1964. What she’s best known for is becoming the first African American congresswoman in 1968! She represented New York in the U.S. House of Representative for seven terms. Ms. Chisholm was also a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Unfortunately most forget that Shirley Chisholm ran for the 1972 Democratic nomination for presidency of the United States and became the first major-party African American and woman to run! Shirley Chisholm paved the road for African American politicians today! Let us celebrate this remarkable woman not only just today but everyday! We need more trailblazers like Ms. Chisholm!
One more legend to acknowledge today: the great Shirley Chisholm, was born on this day in 1924 in Brooklyn, New York. The congresswoman is shown on November 6, 1968, the day after she became the first Black woman elected to Congress. Photo: AP.
She became the first black woman to serve in the United States Congress. A model of independence and honesty and championed for several issues including civil rights, aid for the poor, and women’s rights.
In 1972 she ran for President of the United States, making her the black person to do so. Although she did not win the Democratic nomination, she gained an impressive 10% of the votes.
Chisholm joined the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971 as one of its founding members. All those Chisholm hired for her office were women, half of them black. Chisholm said that during her New York legislative career, she had faced much more discrimination because she was a woman than because she was black.
Chisholm said she ran for the office “in spite of hopeless odds… to demonstrate the sheer will and refusal to accept the status quo.” Among the volunteers who were inspired by her campaign was Barbara Lee, who continued to be politically active and was elected as a congresswoman 25 years later.
Chisholm worked on a bill to give domestic workers the right to a minimum wage, worked to improve opportunities for inner-city residents. She was a vocal opponent of the draft and supported spending increases for education, health care and other social services, and reductions in military spending.
Diahann Carroll and New York Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm on April 22, 1974 at the premiere of Ms. Carroll’s movie, “Claudine.” In her 2008 memoir, “The Legs Are The Last To Go,” Ms. Carroll talks about hosting a fundraiser for Congresswoman Chisholm’s 1972 presidential bid at her Beverly Hills home. Photo: AP.