The city of New York is planning to erect a statue in honour of Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to be elected to Congress.

According to The New York Times, the statue will be placed outside an entrance of Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York in 2020.

The announcement comes on what would have been Chisholm’s 94th birthday, which also coincides with the 50th anniversary of her election to Congress.

Chisholm was born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a well-known Brooklyn neighbourhood. Other notable celebrities who call the “Stuy” as it’s affectionately called home include, Jay-Z, Chris Rock, Lil Kim and the late Biggie Smalls. She died at the age of 80 in 2005 after suffering several strokes.

For seven consecutive terms (1969-1983), Chisholm represented New York’s 12th congressional district. Before her turn in Congress, Chisholm was a respected educator in New York, receiving her master’s from Teacher’s College at Columbia University and serving as the director of a nursery in Brownsville.

“Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm’s legacy of leadership and activism has paved the way for thousands of women to seek public office,” said, first lady of New York City Chirlane McCray, in a statement.

Chisholm’s monument is part of a larger city innovative, “She Built NYC,” which aims to make the contributions of historic New York women visible.

“She is exactly the kind of New York woman whose contributions should be honoured with representation in our public spaces, and that is now being realized with She Built NYC,” McCray continued.

Chisholm’s name was picked out of a nomination list that included over 2,000 women.

Chisholm continued to break ground in American politics, becoming the first Black woman to seek the nomination for president from any major political party in 1972. Her legacy continues to empower and inspire Black female political leaders of today who use Chisholm’s bold personality, commitment to education and social justice.



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