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Fresh off the success of the film One Night in Miami, actress and director Regina King is working on bringing the story of another trailblazer to the silver screen. According to Variety, she is creating a film about pioneering politician Shirley Chisholm.

The movie will chronicle the journey of the Brooklyn native who made history as the first African American U.S. Congresswoman. Chisholm—a Brooklyn College alumna—was the founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the National Women’s Political Caucus. In 1972, she became the first Black woman to campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. Chisholm was a fierce advocate for education reform, dedicated to eradicating poverty and used her platform to spread awareness about issues faced by marginalized communities. She was instrumental in breaking both racial and gender barriers in the realm of politics.

The film will delve into the story behind her historic run for president. The project—which is slated to start production this year—is being developed by the production company Participant. Filmmaker John Ridley, best known for projects that include 12 Years a Slave and American Crime, will write and direct the movie. Chisholm’s estate will be involved in the project as well. “Shirley Chisholm’s fearless determination has been an inspiration to so many of us, and with this film we hope to inspire many generations to come,” said King. “To collaborate once again with my friend and mentor, John Ridley, and the team at Participant, makes this decade-long journey even sweeter.”

News about the biopic comes 17 years after the documentary Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed was released. The Peabody Award-winning film gave an inside look into her presidential campaign. In 2019, a 407-acre state park was named after Chisholm in Brooklyn.


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