Black HistoryNational

NYC Statue to Honor Shirley Chisolm

Fifty years after making history as the first Black woman to be elected to Congress, the late Shirley Chisolm is being honored with a statue in her hometown of New York City.

The statue, which is part of the She Built NYC initiative to expand representation of women in public art and monuments, will be erected in Prospect Park in the city’s Brooklyn borough. The selected artist will be announced early next year.

“A statue to commemorate the great Shirley Chisholm is long overdue,” NYC first lady Chirlane McCray said in a statement. “But it’s also coming during a year when thousands of women from different backgrounds embraced their power and ran for office.”

McCray said Chisholm was “a Black woman who carved a path for herself in public life when women, especially women of color, were expected to sit down and stay quiet.”

Chisholm, who will be played by Viola Davis in an upcoming movie, was also the first woman and African American to seek the Democratic nomination for president in 1972.

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