Shirley Chisholm: Unbossed and Unbought

Shirley Chisholm

This year’s race for the U.S. Democratic nomination has been interesting to watch and it got me thinking about the other African American candidates of the past. Interesting enough, they have all run during my lifetime.

I decided to work on ink portraits of each candidate as way to practice my technique. I’m no historian, so forgive me if my profiles are extremely sketchy. There will be links at the end of the posts if you would like to learn more.

The first in this series is Shirley Chisholm (1924 – 2005). I will spend more time on this profile than the others Ihave planned because I consider her to be a pretty important historical figure. She was the first African American to seek a major party nomination for the presidency. She ran in 1972 with the slogan “Unbossed and Unbought” which later became the title of a 2005 Peabody award winning documentary of the campaign. Isn’t that a great slogan?

Chisholm had an ethnically diverse group of support that included the National Organization for Woman. She did not win any primaries, but did win 152 delegates, ultimately losing the nomination to George McGovern.

Chisholm was the first African American woman elected to Congress, representing New York’s 12th District from 1969 – 1983. She briefly served as ambassador to Jamaica during the Clinton Administration.

She was a founding member of the National Women’s Political Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus.

I can’t even begin do just to the career of this amazing, gutsy, outspoken woman. Here are some links if you would like to find out more:

New York Times Obituary

Wikipedia entry

About.com Women’s History Entry

Shirley Chisholm’s speech on the Equal Rights Amendment