"Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed,"
playing now at BAM Rose Cinemas, examines Brooklyn native Shirley
Chisholm’s campaign to become the nation’s first black, female
presidential nominee. It leaves the viewer wondering just how
far we’ve come in including all Americans in the body politic
and energetically demonstrates the difference one person can
make when they participate in the process.
With a funky soundtrack and stylish editing of archival footage, Shola Lynch’s documentary ponders whether Chisholm was a trailblazer - her campaign theme song encouraged folks to join the "Chisholm Trail" - or if her trail has gone cold. More than 30 years later, there has yet to be a minority elected president of the United States; the two candidates in this election year are still two wealthy white men.
So what’s to be learned from Chisholm’s courageous, pioneering early steps? A lot.
On Thursday, Brooklyn College’s Women’s Studies program named its new Center for the Study of Women after Chisholm, a Brooklyn College alum, class of 1946. Born Nov. 30, 1924, Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm participated in Bedford-Stuyvesant politics and was elected assemblywoman in 1964. In ’68, she campaigned to represent New York’s 12th Congressional District with the slogan, "Fighting Shirley Chisholm - Unbought and Unbossed." She won.
The first black woman elected to Congress, she served from 1968 to 1983. She is now retired and living in Florida.
"Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed" is Lynch’s first film. It seems that three decades later, Chisholm is still inspiring women to do work that matters and make their voices heard.
"Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed" runs through Sept. 30 at the BAM Rose Cinemas (30 Lafayette Ave. at Ashland Place in Fort Greene). Tickets are $10. For screening times, call (718) 636-4100 or visit www.bam.org.