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Black Women and Politics in New York City$
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Julie A. Gallagher

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036965

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036965.001.0001

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On the Shirley Chisholm Trail in the 1960s and 1970s

On the Shirley Chisholm Trail in the 1960s and 1970s

(p.157) Chapter Five On the Shirley Chisholm Trail in the 1960s and 1970s
Black Women and Politics in New York City

Julie A. Gallagher

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines Shirley Chisholm's political career as part of this longer history of African American women in New York City politics. The first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress, Chisholm contributed to the breaking down of barriers that kept black women from powerful positions within the federal government. She was a vocal advocate for an activist government to redress economic, social, and political injustices, and she frequently used her national prominence to bring attention to racial, sexual, and class-based inequality. At the same time, she collided into well-established and powerful forces that made it hard to effect change, and she arrived in Congress at the moment when the New Deal coalition began to fall apart. Although her impact as a liberal Democrat would be blunted by the larger political forces surrounding her, Chisholm's influence on the predominantly white women's movement was substantial.

Keywords:   1960s, 1970s, Shirley Chisholm, African American women, U.S. Congress, inequality, feminism, civil rights, Democratic Party, federal government

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