Shirley Chisholm: ‘They will remember a 100-pound woman’

1960s: Days of Rage


“The tiny glittering black woman stood utterly at attention. She wore a suit of stiff brocade that fitted her shoulders so snugly it gave her a faintly military air. There was, in fact, something about her that suggested the Salvation Army. Perhaps it was only her stiff shoulders, or perhaps also her frequent references to the Lord. Then, too, she had a way of drawing herself up even straighter and stiffer in her moments of intensity, looking then totally charged with inspiration, a small quivering ramrod of righteousness. ‘I’m here to tell you tonight, yes, I dare to say I’m going to run for the Presidency of the United States of America!’ she uttered at the climactic center of her speech. When she said the word ‘dare,’ she fairly squinted with indignation, and, propelled along now by her own anger, she told her audience she was out to prove to…

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