Abstract

Shirley Chisholm (1924–2005) conducted a long political career in the service of black feminist ideas. Her 1972 run for President is the most famous of her efforts, but she also served fourteen years in Congress (1969–1983), serving Brooklyn, New York. As a holder of national elected office at the same time that black feminists were institutionalizing their activism into organizations, Chisholm bridged grassroots and local activism with the national state. She also bridged the ongoing black freedom struggle and women's movements, though not without complication and controversy. This essay uses Chisholm's writings and speeches, as well as government documents, newspaper archives, and interviews to demonstrate Chisholm's dual engagement with the antiracist and antifeminist movements of her time within the context of legislative politics.

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