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Ex-Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm Dies

She was an outspoken trailblazer and the first black woman elected to Congress (I lived in Bedford-Stuyvesant during the 80s and she was a legend there). AP):

Shirley Chisholm, an advocate for minority rights who became the first black woman elected to Congress and later the first black person to seek a major party’s nomination for the U.S. presidency, has died. The Rev. Jesse Jackson called her a “woman of great courage.”

Chisholm, who took her seat in the U.S. House in 1969, was a riveting speaker who often criticized Congress as being too clubby and unresponsive. An outspoken champion of women and minorities during seven terms in the House, she also was a staunch critic of the Vietnam War.

Chisholm ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972, a campaign that was viewed as more symbolic than practical. She won 152 delegates before withdrawing from the race.

I ran for the Presidency, despite hopeless odds, to demonstrate the sheer will and refusal to accept the status quo,” Chisholm said in her book “The Good Fight.” “The next time a woman runs, or a black, a Jew or anyone from a group that the country is ‘not ready’ to elect to its highest office, I believe that he or she will be taken seriously from the start.”

Chisholm represented New York’s Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn and served until retiring in 1983. She also was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding