Shirley Chisholm, the First Black Congresswoman, is Finally Getting a Statue

Her likeness will be erected outside Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

Shirley Chisholm
Shirley Chisholm is finally being properly honored in New York City. (CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Corbis via Getty Images

Fifty years after becoming the first black woman elected to Congress, a statue of Shirley Chisholm‘s likeness will be erected in her home city.

New York will raise Chisholm’s statue on a pedestal outside of Prospect Park in Brooklyn, The Guardian reported, making it one of about 150 sculptures  of past greats scattered across the city — 145 of them male.

One of the five current states of women in the city is of Alice, the titular character from Lewis Carroll’s “Wonderland” fantasy.

“That’s pretty illustrative of just how screwed up the situation is,” deputy mayor Alicia Glen told the news site. “Central Park is the most visited park in the United States. If the only woman people see in the most visited park in the United States is a made up woman, we have a serious problem on our hands.”

The statue is being commissioned thanks to the She Built NYC initiative, a program started to raise more figures in honor of women across the city. The monumental announcement was made on what would have been Chisholm’s 94th birthday. She died in 2005 at age 80.

An artist will be chosen next year and the monument is expected to go up sometime in 2020.

“It’s about time,” Zinga Fraser, a Brooklyn College professor and director of the school’s Shirley Chisholm Project on Brooklyn women’s activism, said.

As a representative for Brooklyn, Chisholm helped to create the food stamp program to feed hungry families and was the first black person and woman to run for Democratic Presidential nomination.

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