BROOKLYN — There are many ways to describe Shirley Chisholm – the first black woman ever elected to Congress.
Most would agree that the Brooklyn native was, above all, fearless.
The educator turned politician represented New York’s 12th Congressional district for seven terms. She even threw her hat in the 1972 presidential race, becoming the first black candidate to run for a major party’s nomination.
Nearly 50 years since she was elected to congress, the City of New York announced it will honor the late Chisholm with a monument at the entrance to Prospect Park as part of the “She Built NYC” initiative that aims to honor the local women who changed history.
In an election year that saw a record breaking number of women elected into office, Chisholm’s legacy isn’t lost on those who succeeded her including Public Advocate and now New York Attorney General-elect Letitia James.
“As the next Attorney General of the stage of New York, I would not have been in this position if it wasn’t for Shirley Chisholm,” James told PIX11 News. “(She) opened up doors and allowed me to break through this glass ceiling.”
It’s a sentiment shared by City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo.
“We look at the landscape in Congress now and the Senate – there are over 100 women now serving – this is historical,” Cumbo said. “It’s a story that all young people should be inspired by, both boys and girls.”
The announcement of the monument happens on what would’ve been Chisholm’s 94th birthday.
The installation is set to happen before the end of 2020.