Shirley Chisholm’s career journey broke barriers for Black women in the realm of politics and now 50 years after she made history by becoming the first African-American woman elected to the United States Congress, the Brooklyn native will receive a major honor in her hometown. According to Curbed New York, a new Brooklyn park will be named after Chisholm.
The park—which is slated to be the largest state park in the city—is a part of an initiative led by Governor Andrew Cuomo dubbed “Vital Brooklyn.” Through the $1.4 billion initiative, Gov. Cuomo is aiming to revitalize neighborhoods in the borough by creating more jobs, providing affordable housing, improving education, and transforming outdoor spaces into parks. The park will span 407 acres and feature paths for biking and hiking, picnic areas, concession stands, and a waterfront for water activities. It will also possibly include spaces for educational programming and an amphitheater.
“Shirley Chisholm led the fight to improve the health and wellness of underserved communities that we carry on today with the Vital Brooklyn initiative, and we are proudly naming this park after her in admiration for the example of leadership and devotion she set for all of us,” said Gov. Cuomo in a statement, according to the news outlet.
Shirley Chisholm State Park is slated to be completed by next summer. Chisholm served as New York’s 12th Congressional District representative from 1969 through 1983. In 1972, she became the first Black person to run for president as well as the first woman to seek the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.
Black women who have shaped our country’s history are finally receiving recognition and credit where it is due. In September it was reported that journalism pioneer Alice Allison Dunnigan—the first Black woman to receive press credentials to cover the White House—will be honored posthumously by the Newseum in Washington, D.C. with a statue.