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December 16, 2018

New York City to erect statue of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to serve in Congress, at Prospect Park

November 30, 2018
Rep. Shirley Chisholm at Democratic Convention in Miami, Florida. The city will erect a statue in her honor. (James Garrett / New York Daily News)

Unbossed, unbought — but no longer unbronzed.

New York City will erect a statue of Rep. Shirley Chisholm, a political trailblazer who was the first black woman to serve in Congress and the first woman to seek the Democratic nomination for president.




The effort follows the city’s reviews of its statues — an effort to toss out “symbols of hate” — and the creation of She Built NYC, an initiative to create more statues of women.

“Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm’s legacy of leadership and activism has paved the way for thousands of women to seek public office,” First Lady Chirlane McCray said. “She is exactly the kind of New York woman whose contributions should be honored with representation in our public spaces, and that is now being realized with She Built NYC.”

The statue initiative solicited suggestions for women to be honored, opening up the call last June. An advisory board refined those submissions and made recommendations to the city.

An artist for the statue hasn’t been chosen but will be announced in 2019, and it’ll be installed by the end of 2020.

The statue of the Brooklyn-born Chisholm will stand at the entrance to Prospect Park, officials said.

An advisory panel with individuals representing a broad range of expertise and backgrounds helped refine the public submissions list and provided recommendations to the City. The selected artist who will design Rep. Chisholm’s monument in early will be announced 2019. The monument will be installed by the end of 2020.

Chisholm was elected in 1968, and served in the Congress for seven terms. In 1972, she ran for president as a Democrat.

No word yet on whether the statue might feature a folding chair in homage to her oft-quote line: “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”

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