Thank You Racialiscious! Sylvia/M reminds us that before there was Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton, Shirley Chisholm (November 20, 1924 - January 3rd, 2005) blazed the trail for black folks and women. She was the first African-American woman (Caribbean-American woman really, her dad was from British Guiana, and mom from Barbados! We run tings you know...) elected to Congress, and the first black woman to be a major party candidate for the Presidency of the United States (DNC, 1972). She was a fierce orator and advocate for women's rights, as well as for the human rights for black folks, Latino/Chicano immigrants, and Native Americans. She was also an open critic of the Nixon administration during the Vietnam War. And one of her quotes?
I am, was, and always will be a catalyst for change.Sounds like a good slogan :) She has some other great quotes, i found this one to be of particular interest, a valuable perspective to be given from someone in this unique position:
Of my two "handicaps" being female put more obstacles in my path than being black.
WOW. Heard that? It gets even more deep in the biographical documentary that bears the name of her campaign slogan, "Chisholm '72 : Unbought And Unbossed" (My friend B schooled me and lent me the dvd back in the day :) where one can see how the male-dominated Black Congressional Caucus refused to support/endorse her, and would tend to think her too outspoken. Y'all aren't going down in history as heroes guys.... not on this matter anyway...
...reminds me of the white feminist women declaring they are going to vote for McCain or stay home on election day just to make sure that Obama doesn't win... you know, McCain, the guy who referred to his wife with the c-word, and opposes reproductive freedom rights and stuff. Interesting that some feminists may forget to support us having the first black First Lady too. For me, this sounds like more of an issue around whiteness than around gender politics. Tim Wise writes an excellent open letter/essay on the subject called "Your Whiteness Is Showing."
In closing, i thought it would be good to post a clip of the woman who should not be forgotten, the trailblazer, Shirley Chisholm. Rest In Peace And Power!