Step into history on a walking tour of Crown Heights, home to trailblazer Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm in 1972.
Photo by Warren K. Leffler via Library of Congress

Explore the Brooklyn neighborhood that trailblazer Shirley Chisholm called home with a walking tour of Crown Heights North.

Brownstoner columnist Suzanne Spellen and Morgan Munsey, both preservationists, will lead a stroll by sites and buildings important in the life of the former Brooklyn Congresswoman. Along the way, attendees will also learn more about the social, architectural, and historic significance of the neighborhood.

Offered by the Municipal Art Society, the in-person tour takes place on Saturday, April 6 at 2 p.m. Tours take place rain or shine and last about 90 minutes. Tickets are $30 ($20 for Municipal Art Society members).

Chisholm — an iconic figure in American politics — left her mark not only on Brooklyn, where she spent much of her life, but on the nation as a whole. Born in Brooklyn in 1924 to immigrant parents from Barbados and Guyana, Chisholm grew up in a working-class neighborhood, experiencing firsthand the struggles of marginalized communities. This upbringing instilled in her a passion for social justice and fueled her determination to challenge the status quo.

Shirley Chisholm Prospect Park Alliance
Shirley Chisholm made history as the first Black woman elected to Congress.Still via “Chisholm ’72” from Realside Productions/Prospect Park Alliance

Chisholm made history in 1968 when she became the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress, representing New York’s 12th congressional district, encompassing parts of Brooklyn. Throughout her seven terms in Congress, she fearlessly advocated for the rights of women, minorities, and the economically disadvantaged. She co-founded both the Congressional Black Caucus and the National Organization for Women (NOW), highlighting her commitment to intersectional feminism and equality for all.

In 1972, Chisholm shattered yet another glass ceiling by becoming the first African American woman to seek a major party nomination for president of the United States, running as a candidate for the Democratic Party. Though her presidential campaign faced significant obstacles and she ultimately did not secure the nomination, her candidacy paved the way for future generations of women and people of color in politics.

For more information on the walking tour and to purchase tickets, visit the event page online.

A version of this story first appeared on Brooklyn Paper’s sister site Brownstoner