Today is legendary Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm’s birthday, and what better present is there than to have EGOT-winner Viola Davis play her in the movie adaptation of her life?
One trailblazer will be honoring another, as it was announced that after much speculation the Widows star will play the history-making U.S. representative Shirley Chisholm. The Fighting Shirley Chisholm, helmed by Amazon Studios and directed by Novitiate’s Maggie Betts, follows the politician's contentious rise to become the first black woman in Congress and the first to seek a major American political party’s nomination for president.
Despite the discrimination and backlash she received during her 1972 run for the Democratic nomination, Chisholm didn’t back down. She eventually lost to her white male counterpart, George McGovern, who then later was beaten by Richard Nixon, but Chisholm was thereafter heralded as an icon and a model for women hoping to break into politics.
Additionally, it was announced today that a statue of Chisholm, who died in 2005, will be erected outside New York’s Prospect Park in 2020. The state’s first lady, Chirlane McCray, told the New York Times that she hoped the monument would inspire more women to seek public office.