Shirley Chisholm–Unbought, Unbossed

2008 portrait by Kadir Nelson. Click to enlarge

Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005) was a trailblazer.  In 1968, she became the first African American woman elected to the House of Representative. Four years later, at the age of 48, she ran for president. Her slogan was “Unbought, Unbossed,” perhaps one that current politicians should take as an example.  She is the perfect woman to end my Black History Month series.

Wisconsin Historical Society. Click to enlarge

When she came to congress, she had a long career behind her as an educator, neighborhood organizer, and New York State congressional representative.  In Washington, she was co-founder of the National Political Women’s Caucus.

Click to enlarge

Chisholm had a distinctive style of dressing.  Not one to mimic the man’s suit, she chose bold graphic prints instead.  That choice was commemorated in the official Congressional portrait of her above.

Nancy Wong, 1984. Click to enlarge

As she aged, she let her hair go gray—but she didn’t give up her love of prints.

I wish they had thought to include her signature look on her stamp!




This entry was posted in 1970s, 1980s, 1990 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Shirley Chisholm–Unbought, Unbossed

  1. So inspiring and so stylish. Unbossed and Unbought is a great slogan, and I can’t think of too many politicians who could use that slogan today.

Leave a Reply to eimear greaney Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.