Political powerhouse Shirley Chisholm’s barrier-breaking contributions will forever be embedded in the fabric of history and an effort has been launched to memorialize her legacy. According to Roll Call, a bill for the creation of a statue of Chisholm—that would live inside of the United States Capitol—has been introduced.
The bill is part of a larger effort to increase the representation of Black women pioneers within the Capitol. Among the vast art collection featured inside of the Washington, D.C. building, civil rights leader Rosa Parks is the only Black woman who has a full-length statue. The lack of art pieces honoring Black women who made history by shaping the political and social landscapes masks the significant contributions they made to pushing the country forward.
The bill to add a statue of Chisholm to the Capitol is being spearheaded by Rep. Yvette D. Clarke. “She showed millions of Black children what was possible. She showed me what was possible. For this and countless other reasons, Congress should honor Chisholm’s life and living legacy,” Rep. Clarke said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “Honoring Shirley Chisholm with a statue in the halls of the Capitol does more than memorialize her life. It proves to the millions of Black girls and women in this country that if they achieve, if they strive for greatness, if they better their country and this world, they too may be honored eternally in the United States Capitol.”
The push for the statue of Shirley Chisholm—the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress and the first African American woman to run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination—comes nearly three years after it was announced that a park in her hometown of Brooklyn would be built in her honor. Shirley Chisholm State Park is the largest state park in New York City. 2022 will mark the 50th anniversary of Chisholm’s historic presidential bid.