2005-01-06 / Top Stories

Sampson Comments On Death Of Shirley Chisholm

State Senator John Sampson issued the following statement regarding former Brooklyn Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm after her death Saturday at age 80.

Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress and an outspoken advocate for women and minorities during seven terms in the House, died near Daytona Beach, friends said.

Chisholm was raised in a predominantly black New York City neighborhood. She was elected to the U.S. House in 1968 and served seven terms. She was considered a riveting speaker who often criticized Congress as being too clubby and unresponsive.

“I want to extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm who went to the ancestors on January 1, 2005 after remaining in our midst for 80 years. Hers was a full and productive life. She made a difference in our lives. America owes her a debt of gratitude for her outstanding contribution to the body politick, and the impact that she made on the daily lives of ordinary Americans and women in particular.

“Her influence and legacy will remain long after she is gone. Shirley Chisholm was one of the influential leaders of the 20th century and a product of the very difficult days of Jim Crowism, racism and institutionalized discrimination based on skin color. Her legacy is that she was able to transcend all these obstacles and to give her work a certain brand of integrity, principle and objectivity. As a leader, she was a rarity.

“As we celebrate the life and times of Shirley Chisholm let us remember that America is a far better place than when she found it, and that is in no small measure to her profound influence on American life as a political leader and activist. May she rest in peace.”

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