Tag: Shirley Chisholm
The fifth of November marked the historic 50th anniversary of the election of the first African American woman to the U.S. Congress, Rep. Shirley Chisholm. This important milestone marks a watershed moment in American politics for Black women to emerge and take their rightful seats at the table of elected Democratic leadership. As the representative from the state of New York, Rep. Chisholm was a trailblazer, inspiring generations of women elected officials. Her career and those of many Black women in Congress are intrinsically connected. One of those women is California Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
Asked what she wanted her legacy to be, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm once said, “I’d like them to say that Shirley Chisholm had guts. That’s how I’d like to be remembered.” Like Shirley, I believe that to restore confidence and trust in our institutions and leaders, we need to speak truth. And that means electing more leaders who aren’t afraid to speak up and speak out. And every one of us privileged to serve has to mentor and lift up others.
Maxine Waters stood before a crowd of young people Friday at Busboys and Poets, a Washington, D.C., restaurant that doubles as stomping ground for social movements. At the event, which she organized as a soulful open mic before the following day’s Tax March, the congresswoman doubled down on her call for the impeachment of President Donald Trump with a combined bluntness and realness one wouldn’t expect from a politician: “We’ve got to stop his ass!” After nearly 40 years in public service, Waters has become the Democratic face for the resistance against Trump.
On 1 Mosiah (August), thousands of Pan Afrikanists from around England, Europe, the Afrikan continent, the Caribbean, Australia and other former colonies like West Papua – accompanied by billions of our Afrikan forbearers! – assembled in London for major mass actions. In this, the Annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March, the themes of “Stop the Maangamizi: We charge genocide and ecocide” and “Demand reparatory justice and reparations” united all.
Throughout her life, Congresswoman Chisholm broke many barriers while tirelessly advocating for the most vulnerable in our nation and our world. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is a fitting tribute to her lifetime of work and advocacy. In 1969, Congresswoman Chisholm became the first African American woman to serve in Congress. She was the first major-party African American candidate and first Democratic woman candidate for the U.S. presidency. Shirley Chisholm had guts.
The Black community is in a world of trouble. And President Obama alone cannot fix it. This is where real leadership is needed: real, un-bought, unbiased leadership. Black America’s biggest challenge, truth be told, is itself. And Black pastors are at the center of the issue. If we can get our leaders to the table – political, business, academic and community – we could create our own salvation.
Will two little girls from the future manage to save Frederick Douglass and his mission to ensure the emancipation of millions of enslaved Africans? If all children read and discuss this book, racial justice will be achievable as soon as they are old enough to lead. This is a book that will light up the life of every child.