A Shirley thing! Obama awarding Medal of Freedom to legendary Brooklyn congresswoman

Unbought and unbossed: President Obama will award late Brooklyn Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

President Obama will posthumously award late, great Brooklyn Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm the highest civilian honor in the land at a White House ceremony on Nov. 24

Chisholm was both the first black woman elected to Congress and the first black candidate to run for president for a major-party, and is among 17 notables Obama will pin with the coveted Presidential Medal of Freedom this year.

A Bedford–Stuyvesant native who got her start in politics as an assemblywoman, Chisholm was a feminist force of nature who fought for women’s rights and for equal education and employment opportunities for minorities during her tenure representing New York’s 12th Congressional District between 1969 and 1983.

In 1972, she made an unsuccessful but ground-breaking bid for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, announcing her candidacy at the Concord Baptist Church of Christ on Marcy Avenue.

Chisholm’s biggest fans reside at her alma mater Brooklyn College, where archive the Shirley Chisholm Project keeps the legendary lady’s legacy alive by documenting the history of women’s activism in the borough.

Obama will also award the top honor to former Brooklynite Barbra Streisand. Babs was born in Williamsburg and attended Erasmus Hall High School in Flatbush alongside Neil Diamond, but ditched the borough of Kings for Manhattan at 16 and now lives in California.

Previous Brooklyn-born recipients include top immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci and former Marine Corps general General Peter Pace.

Reach reporter Allegra Hobbs at or by calling (718) 260–8312.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reasonable discourse

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: