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Women's History Month

Shirley Chisolm

By Yrrasha Taylor
On March 31, 2020

Women’s History Month is a month dedicated to reflecting on the often overlooked contributions of women to United States history. President Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8 as National Women’s History Week in 1980, as March 8 was already recognized as International Women’s Day. 

In the United States, the weeklong observance turned into the entire month being celebrated after Congress declared the entire month of March as National Women’s History Month in perpetuity in 1987. The president signs a proclamation each March recognizing the month long celebration.

Women’s History Month is an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on women’s achievements, as well as, the problems they have faced in the struggle to be free while still playing an important role in society. Shirley Chisholm should be celebrated during Women’s History Month.

 Shirley Chisholm was an American politician, educator and author. She became the first black woman elected to the United States Congress. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was the oldest of four daughters born to immigrant parents. Chisholm earned a master’s degree from Columbia University in early childhood education in 1951. 

In 1964, she ran for and became the second African American in the New York State Legislature. She was the  co-founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1971, and in 1977 Chisholm became the first black woman and second woman ever to serve on the powerful House Rules Committee. 

Of her legacy, Chisholm said, “I want to be remembered as a woman ... who dared to be a catalyst of change.” This quote suggests that even though people went against her, she did what she had to do as a woman. She did this for her race and most importantly, her gender. 

Observing this month is a good way to show women what they are worth.. Women continue to go through trials and tribulations to prove themselves. Every woman should hope one day to be able to celebrate Women’s History Month in honor of herself.

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