A graduate of Columbia University (M.A., 1952), she was a schoolteacher before becoming active in local politics. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1968, she became the first African American woman to serve in Congress. During her 15 years in the House, she was known for her strong liberal views, including her opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War and her advocacy of full-employment programs. She cofounded the National Women's Political Caucus. As a candidate for the Democratic Party's 1972 U.S. presidential nomination, she won 152 delegates before withdrawing from the race.
Image: The Honorable Shirley Chisholm, first Black Congresswoman in the United States, spoke at College of the Mainland on October 29, 1972 on the issue of “The Black Woman and the American Political System.” See the entire set of images.