Unbought and Unbossed, Shirley Chisholm Stands as a Timely Lesson on Claiming a Seat at the Table

Shirley Chisholm, who was the first Black woman elected to the U.S. Congress and the first Black candidate to seek a major party nomination for president, once advised “if they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”

Chisholm’s guidance feels particularly salient today, partly because this would be the former congresswoman’s 93rd birthday, but mostly because we have arrived at a strangely ironic moment when Black women are gaining political ground just as women and people of color are experiencing an all-out assault on their civil rights, freedoms and upward mobility.

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