Shirley Chisholm in Pictures: Unbought and Unbossed

Shirley Chisholm laid the groundwork for many who would follow her footsteps into national politics. As an activist who was often in the public eye, she is well represented in Prints & Photographs Division collections.

Elected as a Representative for New York’s 12th congressional district in 1968, Chisholm was the first Black woman to serve in the United States Congress. Just a few years later, she began a campaign for the U.S. presidency, becoming the first African American candidate from a major party and the first woman from the Democratic party to do so.

The U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection includes a number of images of Chisholm during these groundbreaking years. A founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chisholm can be seen in the images below with fellow members and at events from 1971, the year the group was officially established, through 1975.

Congressional Black Caucus Rep.'s George W. Collins (D-Ill.), Ronald V. Dellums (D-Calif.), Shirley Chisholm (D-N.Y.), William L. Clay (D-Mo.), Charles C. Diggs, Jr. (D-Mich.), Augustus F. Hawkins (D-Calif.), Parren J. Mitchell (D-Md.), Walter Fauntroy (D-D.C.), Louis Stokes (D-Ohio), Ralph Metcalfe (D-Ill.). Photo by Warren K. Leffler, 1971. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.55921

Congressional Black Caucus Rep.’s George W. Collins (D-Ill.), Ronald V. Dellums (D-Calif.), Shirley Chisholm (D-N.Y.), William L. Clay (D-Mo.), Charles C. Diggs, Jr. (D-Mich.), Augustus F. Hawkins (D-Calif.), Parren J. Mitchell (D-Md.), Walter Fauntroy (D-D.C.), Louis Stokes (D-Ohio), Ralph Metcalfe (D-Ill.). Photo by Warren K. Leffler, 1971. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.55921

House Black Caucus Shirley Chisholm. Photo by Warren K. Leffler, 1973. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.55931

House Black Caucus Shirley Chisholm. Photo by Warren K. Leffler, 1973. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.55931

Vice President Rockefeller addresses congressional Black Caucus full employment forum. Photo by Thomas J. O’Halloran, 1975. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.55934

Vice President Rockefeller addresses congressional Black Caucus full employment forum. Photo by Thomas J. O’Halloran, 1975. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.55934

Despite resistance from many Congressional Black Caucus members — some of whom objected to her candidacy because she was a woman, and some because she was willing to collaborate extensively with colleagues outside the CBC — Chisholm pursued the U.S. presidency in 1972, adopting the motto “Unbought and Unbossed” for her campaign.

Bring U.S. together. Vote Chisholm 1972, unbought and unbossed. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.42048

Bring U.S. together. Vote Chisholm 1972, unbought and unbossed. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.42048

Chisholm seemed at ease speaking to the crowd at the Democratic National Convention in this image taken by a U.S. News and World Report photographer .

Democratic National Convention, Miami Beach, Fla., 3rd session Shirley Chisholm. Photo by Warren K. Leffler, 1972. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.55938

Democratic National Convention, Miami Beach, Fla., 3rd session Shirley Chisholm. Photo by Warren K. Leffler, 1972. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.55938

A supporter at the convention holds a sign in support of Chisholm in the U.S. News and World Report photograph below.

Democratic National Convention, Miami Beach, Fla., 3rd session Chisholm demonstration. Photo by Thomas J. O’Halloran, 1972. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.55927

Democratic National Convention, Miami Beach, Fla., 3rd session Chisholm demonstration. Photo by Thomas J. O’Halloran, 1972. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.55927

Although she did not win the Democratic party’s nomination, Chisholm knew that her efforts would have a lasting impact. In 1973, she remarked: “The next time a woman of whatever color, or a dark-skinned person of whatever sex aspires to be president, the way should be a little smoother because I helped pave it.”

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