Shirley Chisholm Dared The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress

shirley chisholm dared the story of the first black woman in congress

How does the young daughter of immigrants from Barbados fight her way to becoming the first Black woman elected to the U.S. Congress? What makes her believe she can go that far - make that kind of a difference? What did she hold inside of herself that gave her the tools for the journey?

At age three Shirley Chisholm was living in a tiny apartment in Brooklyn, New York, with her baby sisters and her parents. Her family valued hard work and her family valued education.  Shirley's father told her to "Make something of yourself."

Through the passionate, determined voice of Alicia D. Williams Shirley Chisholm comes alive.  Shirley asked questions wherever she went.  Shirley was proud of her ability to learn.  Shirley saw that change was needed and she dedicated herself to the fight for equal rights.

This is a brilliant, inspiring life story that invites us to feel how hard Shirley's path was and how many times people told her no and how powerful the wall was that was there to keep her from succeeding.

But Shirley persisted.  Shirley figured out what the problems were and then believed she could solve them.

Every life will have difficulty.  Every life will have setbacks.  Every life can be inspired by the courage and the determination of Shirley Chisholm.  Believe in yourself.  Just because it's hard doesn't mean you can't do it.  Just because it is the way it is doesn't mean it has to stay that way.

Shirley Chisholm ran for office in New York State and ....won.    Shirley Chisholm ran for the U.S Congress .... and won.  What will you do?

The art of April Harrison in this gorgeous picture book is phenomenal.  The family comes to life and the self-esteem, the self-confidence and the wonder of Shirley Chisholm become real and you feel her presence on every page.  What a force!

48 pages 978-0593123683 Ages 4-12

Keywords:  biography, African American, African American author, prejudice, discrimination, problem solving, overcoming obstacles,  believing in yourself, grit, women, diversity, diverse books, multicultural, Diversity: Self Image, American history, social issues, social activist, Social Studies Curriculum, 20th century, government, politics, perseverance, determination, self confidence, self esteem

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge,


Discover the inspiring story of the first black woman elected to Congress and to run for president in this picture book biography from a Newbery Honor-winning author and a Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe New Talent Award-winning illustrator.

Meet Shirley, a little girl who asks way too many questions! After spending her early years on her grandparents' farm in Barbados, she returns home to Brooklyn and immediately makes herself known.

Shirley kicks butt in school; she breaks her mother's curfew; she plays jazz piano instead of classical. And as a young adult, she fights against the injustice she sees around her, against women and black people. Soon she is running for state assembly...and winning in a landslide.

Three years later, she is on the campaign trail again, as the first black woman to run for Congress. Her slogan? "Fighting Shirley Chisholm--Unbought and Unbossed!" Does she win? You bet she does.---from the publisher

User reviews

Have you read this book? We'd love to hear what you think. Click the button below to write your own review!
Already have an account? or Create an account