A Stamp for a Champ
The late Congresswoman and pioneering Presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm (M.A. ’52) is being honored by the U.S. Postal Service during Black History Month with a limited-edition stamp in the Black Heritage series.
“Shirley Chisholm was a courageous and pioneering woman whose legacy lives on with the issuance of this special stamp,” said Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman at a recent ceremony in New York City at the Brooklyn Borough Hall. “We are proud to honor this great American who shattered barriers of race and gender. Shirley Chisholm fought for the rights of women and the poor as a true champion for justice and equality for all.”
Chisholm, the daughter of Caribbean immigrants, was born in Brooklyn, attended public school there and graduated from Brooklyn College. She received her TC’s master’s degree in Curriculum and Teaching and later served as a nursery school teacher, director of a child care center, and educational consultant to New York City's Division of Day Care.
In 1969, Chisholm became the nation’s first African-American woman in Congress, where she was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. As a candidate in the Democratic primaries in 1972, she was the first African-American woman to run for a major party’s Presidential nomination. Yet despite her fierce determination to challenge prejudice, she was also a pragmatist who visited former Alabama Governor and segregationist George Wallace in the hospital after he was partly paralyzed by an assassination attempt.
She ultimately served seven terms in Congress, retiring in 1983. She passed away in 2005.
Chisholm received TC’s Distinguished Achievement medal in 1985, and the College again honored her contributions during its yearlong 125th anniversary celebration in 2013 with a bus shelter ad that read “Courage to run, first to win” under her picture.
Others honored by the Black Heritage stamp series include Sojourner Truth, Paul Robeson, W.E.B. DuBois, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbara Jordan, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston and Althea Gibson.
Published Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014