This Day in History

July 10, 1972: Shirley Chisholm at Democratic National Convention

Time Periods: 1961
Themes: African American, Democracy & Citizenship, Women's History

I am not the candidate of Black America, although I am Black and proud. I am not the candidate of the women’s movement of this country, although I am a woman, and I am equally proud of that. I am not the candidate of any political bosses or fat cats or special interests. I stand here now without endorsements from many big name politicians or celebrities or any other kind of prop.

I do not intend to offer to you the tired and glib clichés, which for too long have been an accepted part of our political life. I am the candidate of the people of America. And my presence before you now symbolizes a new era in American political history.  — Shirley Chisholm in 1972 announcing her candidacy for the Democratic nomination

Shirley Chisholm was an historic candidate at the 1972 Democratic National Convention, July 10-13. Chisholm was the first Black woman elected to Congress and the first to seek nomination for the highest office in the land.

Brochure from Chisholm campaign.

Chisholm was outspoken on behalf of civil rights legislation, the Equal Rights Amendment, and a minimum family income; she opposed wiretapping, domestic spying, and the Vietnam War.

Learn more in the film Chisholm ’72 – Unbought and Unbossed.

Read Jo Freeman’s description of working on the campaign.