Tony Award-winning actress Anika Noni Rosewill produce as well as starin a film about Shirley Chisholm, the first woman ever to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination and the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States.
In 1968, she became the first African-American elected to Congress.
The film was first announced in 2010 with Viola Davis attached to the project, but a producer of the project has confirmed Rose’s attachment to the project, which is currently in development.
The event attracted a bevy of black Hollywood stars, who celebrated the legacy of King and other black historical icons. Some stars paid tribute through musical performances, like India.Arie, who praised Shirley Chisholm. Others, including Rock, gave powerful recitals.
Rock, who will host the Oscars next month, read the words to Baldwin’s widely praised 1963 letter, “My Dungeon Shook.” Watch Rock’s full performance (he takes the stage around the 1:44 mark) by clicking here.
Ninety-seven-year-old Katherine G. Johnson was a pioneer in American space history. A NASA mathematician, Johnson’s computations have influenced every major space program from Mercury through the Shuttle program.
Willie Mays, 84, who ended his esteemed baseball career with 660 home runs, became the fifth all-time record-holder in the sport.
Shirley Chisholm made history in 1968 by becoming the first African-American woman elected to Congress. She helped found the Congressional Black Caucus, ran for president in 1972, and served seven terms in the House of Representatives.
Now, they are among 17 Americans who will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the U.S., to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
President Barack Obama will present the awards on November 24 during a ceremony at the White House.
“I look forward to presenting these 17 distinguished Americans with our nation’s highest civilian honor,” the statement reads. “From public servants who helped us meet defining challenges of our time to artists who expanded our imaginations, from leaders who have made our union more perfect to athletes who have inspired millions of fans, these men and women have enriched our lives and helped define our shared experience as Americans.”
Chisholm’s medal will be presented posthumously.
Click here to read the complete list of award-winners.
article by Lynette Hollowayvia newsone.com; additions by Lori Lakin Hutcherson
Women of the storied African-American sorority Delta Sigma Theta flooded a Senate hearing room on Wednesday to support their fellow sorority sister and Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch.
Lynch, who is set to face a tough hearing for the post, started a chapter of the sorority at Harvard with current Attorney General Eric Holder’s wife, Sharon Malone. Though the connection was seen as controversial to members of the right-wing media, her sorority sisters proudly donned the organization’s signature colors—crimson and cream—in the hearing room.
The sorority was founded in 1913 at Washington, D.C.’s Howard University on tenets of empowerment, justice, and community service. Several current and former members of Congress are members, including Reps. Joyce Beatty and Marcia Fudge of Ohio, Rep. Yvette Clark of New York, and former Congresswomen Barbara Jordan and Shirley Chisholm.
On November 5th 1968, Shirley Chisholmbecame the first black woman elected to Congress. She represented New York’s 12th District and went on to maintain that seat for seven terms until 1983. Born in New York the daughter of West Indian parents, Chisholm was known for using her political career to fight for social justice and education. In 1969, Chisholm became one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus. She then went on to become the first African American to make a bid to become President of the United States — running for a Democratic nomination in 1972.
Chisholm died in 2005, however in 2004 she said about her legacy, “I want history to remember me not just as the first black woman to be elected to Congress, not as the first black woman to have made a bid for the presidency of the United States, but as a black woman who lived in the 20th century and dared to be herself.”