Xi Psi’s Women’s History Month
Miss Shirley Chisholm was an author, educator, and American politician, and the first African American female to run for Congress as well as the first female to run for the Democratic presidential nomination. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she was raised in Barbados after being sent to live with her maternal grandmother. There, she received strict British-style education, and in her autobiography, credits her knowledge from the education she received growing up. She returned to New York a short time later, and received her BA from Brooklyn College and her MA from Columbia University in elementary education. After ten years of working in a Daycare center, she ran for the New York State Legislature in 1964, becoming the first African American female to be elected to Congress where she became a member of the House of Representatives. In 1972, she ran for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination and during her campaign she survived three assassination attempts and noted that she faced more discrimination because she was a woman than from being black. She spent the rest of her tenure in Congress lobbying for better opportunities for inner-city residents and the better treatment of Haitian refugees. Having retired, she returned to education teaching politics at Spelman College. Shirley Chisholm is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and received an honorary doctorate of Law from Smith College.