#TBT: The first black female presidential candidate

"It is time that other peoples in America besides white males run for the highest office of this land." This was Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to run for president in 1972.

First black female presidential candidate

Who was she?

Shirley Anita St. Hill was born on November 30, 1924, in Brooklyn to Caribbean immigrant parents. Her father was a factory laborer while her mother was a skilled seamstress and a domestic worker. She lived in Barbados from ages five to ten with her maternal grandmother where she got a very serious education. When she returned to Brooklyn, she attended Girls’ High School and later earned her bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College. Known for her debate skills, she met and married Conrad Chisholm in the late 1940s. Shirley later taught nursery school and earned her masters in elementary education from Columbia University in 1952.

After becoming deeply involved with Division of Day Care and Friends Day Nursery, Chisholm became more involved in political clubs including the Bedford-Stuyvesant Political League and the League of Women Voters. She led the pack as a Democratic member of the New York State Assembly for three years and her tenure included getting unemployment benefits extended to domestic workers and the introduction of a program to provide disadvantaged kids a chance at college while receiving special education. Her hard work led her to become the first black woman elected to Congress in 1968.

In Congress, she was known for creating a food stamp program expansion, becoming a high-ranking member of the Education and Labor Committee, founding both the Congressional Black Caucus and the National Women’s Political Caucus, and becoming Secretary of the House Democratic Caucus. She later met Arthur Hardwick Jr in 1977 and married him that year.

Chisholm began her presidential run in 1972, making her both the first black major-party candidate to run, and the first woman to run for a Democrat nomination. After receiving former Vice President Hubert Humphrey’s black delegates, Chisholm ended the primary in fourth place with 430,703 votes and 1 state won. Even after her retirement in 1982 and her death in 2005, Chisholm has inspired many groundbreaking female and black candidates in today’s government.


03/12/2020 9:59 AM


  • Sheree B.
    5 days

    Powerful Words

  • Kaleab T.
    01/01/2021 06:17

    Love this [email protected]

  • A'aferti A.
    12/28/2020 05:21


  • Deanna G.
    11/17/2020 02:03


  • Tony L.
    10/30/2020 03:38

    you remember this??

  • Maung K.
    10/24/2020 04:24


  • Nichole A.
    10/22/2020 12:38

    Napansin nyo? Parang ginagaya niya si Miriam Defensor-Santiago

  • Piox L.
    10/21/2020 10:56

    Love Her ❤️

  • Nikko E.
    10/19/2020 01:31


  • Justine A.
    10/18/2020 16:04

    she's like Sen. Miriam Santiago

  • Les L.
    10/13/2020 21:10

    And now America you have Trump 😢

  • Ellie J.
    10/13/2020 17:51

    She's like Miriam defensor Santiago from the Philippines. The best President we never had. Rest in peace legend 🙏❤️

  • Ken A.
    10/08/2020 03:53

    nakikita ko sa kanya c iron lady miss you po ms meriam defensor 😓😓

  • Lorraine B.
    10/07/2020 06:15

    💪🥰🤜🤛 heroine

  • Vickki N.
    10/05/2020 09:32

    True and moralistic rep she was 💙 I am praying that Biden and Kamala are able to put America back in good grace with the Lord thy God. 🙏 🙏

  • Troy C.
    10/01/2020 03:10

    I loved her! She greatly influenced my political thinking.

  • Jevgeni R.
    09/30/2020 17:18

    Obama won because he did not only talk about black people (if at all), he had other issues also.

  • Regina P.
    09/30/2020 00:08

    My heroine

  • Charity A.
    09/29/2020 14:49


  • Tanya T.
    09/29/2020 12:01

    prang c inang mirriam

Stay informed and entertained, for free with myBrut.

Stay informed and entertained, for free with myBrut.

By continuing, you agree to receive emails from Brut.