Shirley Chisholm was the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress. This poster was created for her 1972 presidential campaign, in which she was the first Black candidate to seek a major party’s nomination–a story told in the recent miniseries Mrs. America. Provenance: estate of Etta Moten Barnett (1901-2004) of Chicago. 

My father ADORED her! As many did because of her no nonsense way. Ms. Shirley a New Yorker was outspoken and advocated for women and minorities. She championed anti-poverty and educational reform. A true catalyst of change. ~Lynn Rousseau McDaniel

*As a result of this post, we received several emails and text messages recounting Ms. Shirley Chisholm’s political rein. This one stood out:

“We had bricks thrown through our windows, the worst attempt of a cross burning ever seen, along with death threats. My parents just persevered. Our neighbor parked in front of our house one night. Someone mistook their car for ours, and poured sugar in the gas tank. 

We lived in Dayton, Ohio. Mom started her commitment in Detroit. She was riding her bike past Unitarian Fellowship. There was a talk on Civil Rights. On gut instinct she went in to hear it. It was galvanizing. Later at Michigan State my parents became involved in the movement. They threatened to expel my Dad if he didn’t cool it. I vaguely recall getting to meet and hear Dr. Reverend Ralph Abernathy speak (I was pretty young) and going to a LBJ rally. I remember Father taking us up to the front where a man stood leaning on a wall. He stated, “kids, take a look. This is what the CIA looks like. Uh oh, they’re going to take our pictures-so smile!” 

There were lots of small stories. My parents continued their mission until our home was raided! I was not home, but my sister said they made a mess, dumping out drawers and such. What had been a safe house for activists was no more. Many arrived in the middle of the night to lay low for a while. When I say committed-my parents were VERY committed to helping, doing something! It impacted my Dads career. He was harassed until the day he died. 

The resounding hope of my childhood, still alive in my soul.” ~Daughter of the movement. 

If you have a memory to share, please text/ring 312.450.9821 or comment below. 

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