Monday, February 07, 2005

Chisholm '72: Unbought and Unbossed

Tonight at 9 p.m. on KLRU, P.O.V. explores the 1972 presidential campaign of Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm in the documentary, "Chisholm '72: Unbought and Unbossed."

After becoming the first black woman elected to Congress in 1968, representing the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, Chisholm sought the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination that ultimately went to George McGovern. She was the first woman and the first African American to seek the presidency. "I ran because somebody had to do it first," Chisholm said of her campaign, which sought to enfranchise women, people of color, gays and others traditionally left out of the political process.

Chisholm passed away on New Year's Day at age 80. She didn't want to just be known as the first black woman in Congress. "I'd like them to say that Shirley Chisholm had guts," she said upon leaving Congress in 1982. "That's how I'd like to be remembered."

"Chisholm '72" was directed by 1992 UT alum Shola Lynch, who will be honored as an Outstanding Texas Ex at this year's commencement. Thanks to Terri R. for the tip!

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