It’s been a very hectic, exciting and rewarding year for the Shirley Chisholm Project. We have been on the road publicizing Project Director Barbara Winslow’s Shirley Chisholm: Catalyst for Change (Westview Press, 2013), the first scholarly biography of Chisholm. The book’s publication has taken us to Brooklyn, Manhattan, San Diego and Los Angeles, California, Cleveland, Ohio, Atlanta, Georgia, and New Orleans, Louisiana. We were also on television in New York as well. But the most exciting time for us was the book party in Washington D.C. where Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton gave greetings. In addition, Leader Pelosi’s wonderful staff took us on a memorable tour of the Capitol Building, where we saw Chisholm’s Portrait.
(L-R): Project Manager Leslie Anselme, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Project Director Barbara Winslow and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton at Catalyst for Change Book Party at the Mott House in Washington D.C.
(L-R): Project Videographer Nila Popal, Project Director Barbara Winslow, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes
Norton and Speaker Nancy Pelosi at Catalyst for Change Book Party at the Mott House in Washington D.C.
(L-R): Project Manager Leslie Anselme, Videographer Nila Popal; Administrative Specialist at the BrooklynCollege Women & Gender Studies Program, Irva Adams at Catalyst for Change Book Party at the North StarFund Offices in New York, NY.
SHIRLEY CHISHOLM DAY NOVEMBER 20
Every November, the Shirley Chisholm project hosts Shirley Chisholm Day events at Brooklyn College. Over 500 Brooklyn College students, faculty, staff, community members and elected officials attended. This year the Reverend Al Sharpton was our keynote speaker. Because of events in Ferguson, Missouri, he could not attend, but sent us a taped presentation about his experiences working on her 1972 presidential campaign.
New York State Assemblyperson Rodneyse Bichotte gave greetings, as did Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna, who presented a citation from the Borough President, Eric Adams. Following these presentations a panel of scholar activists, Professors Haroon Kharem of the Childhood and Special Education Department, Zinga Fraser, Women’s and Gender Studies Endowed Scholar and Frank Roberts, NYU, led an inspiring panel on the meaning of Ferguson. In fact so inspiring that a BC student Leah Soffian carried this image with her when she joined tens of thousands to protest Ferguson, Staten Island and racial injustice.
Our next Project is to deliver a copy of Shirley Chisholm, Catalyst for Change into every middle and high school in Brooklyn. We will keep you posted.
Finally, we wish everyone all the best for the coming year. We must continue to be “Catalysts for Change,” in our struggle for social justice, peace and a sustainable planet.
We’re incredibly grateful to all who have donated so far. Anything you can give insures the Project’s survival and success. Won’t you consider making a donation?
YES! I want to donate to the Shirley Chisholm Project of Brooklyn Women’s Activism 1945 to the Present.
Visit the website for The Brooklyn College Foundation Website at http://www.brooklyn.cuny.edu/
And complete the online donation form. In the “Fund Designation” box, please type: Shirley Chisholm Archive: 30303085
To Donate by Mail:
Please make all checks payable to The Brooklyn College Foundation.
In the memo of the check or in a note included with your contribution, please indicate that your gift supports the Shirley Chisholm Archive: 30303085
Mail your gift to the following address:
The Brooklyn College Foundation
2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11210
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Thank you again and all the best wishes for holiday season and the New Year.
Project Director, Shirley Chisholm Project of Brooklyn Women’s Activism, 1945-present
The Project is hosting its annual Shirley Chisholm Day on Thursday, November 20 at 11:00 AM in the Brooklyn College Student Center. This year’s keynote speaker is none other than the Reverend Al Sharpton. We chose Reverend Sharpton because he attended Brooklyn College and he was Mrs. Chisholm’s youth organizer when she ran for president in 1972. We have no doubt that Reverend Sharpton will inspire us with his words, especially given recent events.
We at the Project would like to invite you to join us for Shirley Chisholm Day 2014. Shirley Chisholm, as the first black Congresswoman and the first African American and the first woman to make a serious run for the presidency of the United States, is an important part of American history. More importantly, Chisholm, who hails from Bedford-Stuyvesant and who is a graduate of our very own Brooklyn College, is an integral part of Brooklyn history and her legacy a beacon of light for our students.
The Shirley Chisholm Project honored the lives of civil rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner at Shirley Chisholm Day 2010. We welcomed Ben Chaney, David Goodman Steve Schwerner; brothers of the murdered civil rights activists. President Obama just awarded Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Below are photos from Shirley Chisholm Day 2010.
David Goodman, Ben Chaney, Steve Schwerner
Join Schomburg Education for the third season of Conversations in Black Freedom Studies, a dynamic adult education series featuring a full lineup of provocative scholars and community members committed to engaging dialogue and purposeful study. Curated by Professors Jeanne Theoharis (Brooklyn College) and Komozi Woodard (Sarah Lawrence College), the series launches its archival and interactive website this fall. Visit blackfreedomstudies.org and follow @SchomburgCBFS for updates and links to programs and supplementary materials. Read in advance for best experience. Reserve your seat for the live conversations: schomburgcenter.eventbrite.com.
FIRST THURSDAYS AT 6 P.M.
NOVEMBER 6, 2014
THE POLITICAL LIFE AND LEGACY OF SHIRLEY CHISHOLM
With Barbara Winslow, Brooklyn College; Zinga Fraser, Brooklyn College; and Joshua Guild, Princeton University.
Director Barbara Winslow, Project Manger Leslie Anselme and Videographer Nila Popal had the honor of not only viewing the larger-than-life full-color portrait of Shirley Chisholm in the Capitol, but we also got a tour of Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office and the infamous Capitol Rotunda!
We would like to thank the Leader’s amazing staff for the opportunity!
Presented by Creative Time and Weeksville Heritage Center, Funk, God, Jazz, and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn will include a series of diverse, community-based artist commissions, launching this fall in Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, and Weeksville neighborhoods. The project will comprise works by artists Xenobia Bailey, Simone Leigh, Otabenga Jones & Associates, and Bradford Young, each of whom is collaborating with a local organization. Comprising performances, installations, and events, the commissioned works will build upon the powerful history of Weeksville—founded in 1838 as an independent free black community and site of self-determination—as well as the larger history of Black radical Brooklyn.
Check out the event website by clicking here.
Shirley Chisholm was the first African-American woman elected to Congress and one of Brooklyn College’s most famous alumni. Yet many people under 40 know little of her, says Brooklyn College professor Barbara Winslow. Hoping to raise awareness of the political trailblazer, Winslow penned the new biography, Shirley Chisholm: Catalyst for Change.
Hi, I am Shirlla a 5th grade student from PS 316. In my class, we have been studying the struggles of African Americans. One person in particular is Shirley Chisholm. She was the first black congress women for the New York state. What stood out to me about her is she changed the rules for the United States. I learned that Shirley and me have some things in common, we are both from the West Indies, our names in common, my mothers’ name is also Shirley, and we both are from Brooklyn. If it wasn’t for Shirley Chisholm many of the people I know wouldn’t have had the opportunities that they have been granted.
Shirley Chisholm made a speech about children in the 1960s, that was really brave. She challenged Americans to think about children in our city. The speech spoke about how males with poor education were often drafted into Vietnam. Usually the outcome of these draft resulted in family loss. Shirley Chisholm saw the hypocrisy in these times. A nation that was still under-going radical change hadn’t change. So Shirley called everybody out.
Shirley Chisholm fought to receive a fair education for children in all places. I think of Shirley Chisholm as a woman who would not be afraid to give her thoughts. She would do anything to advance America.
Shirrla is a fifth grade student at p.s. 316 Elijah G. Stroud Elementary School, School of Excellence for All Students, Brooklyn, NY. We are so proud of her accomplishments, and by giving this speech about the great Shirley Chisholm, she has started a chain reaction making her a Catalyst for Change.
Basil A. Paterson, who died at 87 on Wednesday, belonged to a generation of clubhouse Harlem politicos who rose to prominence a half-century ago and now recedes from the stage.
Long after he’d been a state senator, lieutenant governor candidate, labor attorney, New York City deputy mayor, and the first African-American appointed as New York’s secretary of state, happenstance would make him the father of a New York governor.
In 1985, a journalist dubbed the elder Paterson — together with Rep. Charles Rangel, pol-turned-businessman Percy Sutton and future Mayor David Dinkins — the “Harlem Gang of Four” as they coalesced behind a close colleague, Assemb. Herman “Denny” Farrell Jr., for mayor.
The name stuck.
Dinkins, a friend and one-time law partner of the elder Paterson, said somberly Thursday that he got word of the death late Wednesday. “Basil’s family knows that Charlie Rangel and I and [former NAACP leader] Hazel Dukes are sort of like family and stand ready to be helpful,” Dinkins explained.
Farrell told Newsday: “There are many people who would like to get things done but don’t. He got things done. And another good thing about him was that he didn’t suffer fools well. He’d let you know in a nice way, not a sharp way, ‘This is stupid, it’s not gonna work.’ “
If anyone had reason to know politics can be quirky, it was Basil Paterson.
When gubernatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer was picking a candidate for lieutenant governor in 2006, the whole Gang of Four gave full-throated support to Leecia Eve of Buffalo for the post.
To their apparent surprise, Spitzer chose Basil’s son David Paterson, then a state senator, who ascended to the top job when the scandal-vexed Spitzer quit in 2008.
During Paterson’s tenure, William Cunningham III, a colleague of Basil Paterson, was dispatched from the firm Meyer, Suozzi, English and Klein, to help out as a top aide to the governor.
The firm, based in Garden City, served as the elder Paterson’s base for many years. Until his death, he co-chaired its labor and government-relations practice and represented big unions, including 1199/SEIU and the United Federation of Teachers.
“What was different about Basil was he took each person on his or her own merits. He probably had enemies, but I can’t tell you one and I’d been around Basil since 1970,” said the firm’s chairman, Harold Ickes.
Likewise, ex-Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger recalled Paterson’s “unbelievable ability to mediate between people with different points of view.”
Before his death, Paterson’s roles and recollections were making their way into historical books.
He’s quoted in a new book “Shirley Chisholm, Catalyst for Change” by Barbara Winslow, about the late congresswoman who came up in Brooklyn politics in the 1950s and later worked alongside Paterson in the State Legislature.
“If you think being a woman is bad now . . . [it was] horrible then. Women were not included in meetings,” Paterson is recorded there as saying. “Shirley proved . . . you could get out there and run for higher office. And you could be your own person.”
In his 2007 autobiography, Rangel — now in a hard primary scrap for a 23rd term in Congress — credited Paterson for encouraging him to join the New Era Democratic Club, which helped launch his career.
Original posting can be found on the Newsday website.