Today I listened to NPR’s Tell Me More with journalist Michel Martin and learned that 2010 marks the 40th anniversary of Congresswoman Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm’s 1970 autobiography Unbought and Unbossed.
I first learned about Sistalove Shirley when my mother Theresa supported her 1972 presidential campaign. She was my mother’s shero and later became mine. Sistalove Shirley ran for Congress and headed to Washington, D.C. in 1968 to represent her Brooklyn community. In 1972, she became the first woman and African American to run for president of the United States. She had her own mind and was a true force of nature. Sistalove Shirley rocked her entire life and always told her truth in her own words. Her legacy inspires me to do the same. FYI – I wrote a poem about her in my new book That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (available on Amazon – http://tiny.cc/7uFsg). See below.
During Tell Me More, Martin spoke with one of my favorite filmmakers Shola Lynch, who created the film “Chisholm 72: Unbought and Unbossed,” and Barbara Ransby, a professor of History and African-American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Click here to listen to the show (17 minutes): http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122984022.
Chocolate Bar (from That Which Awakens Me’s Chapter Two: Girlhood Memories. Defining Self.Identities. Archetypes.)
Copyright 2009 by Madelyn C. Leeke
My mother flipped through JET as we stood in the line at the grocery store.
I was busy trying to con her in to letting me get a chocolate bar from the candy stand located near the checkout counter.
She paid me no mind.
Persistence was my middle name.
So I continued and eventually got on her last nerve.
She threatened to use her Dr. Scholl’s on me.
I quieted down for fear of her wooden shoe.
That’s when she showed me a picture of this coffee-colored woman with glasses from some place in Brooklyn.
At first glance, the lady looked like a school teacher.
My mother proudly told me that she was Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to run for President.
I smiled and thought my mother might bend and let me get that chocolate bar, but she wasn’t having it.
Maybe if this lady wins the election I might be able to get a chocolate bar then.
Enjoy your day and week!
Peace, Creativity, Joy, Compassion, and Gratitude for Sistalove Ancestors,