“I am not the candidate of any political bosses or special interests. I am the candidate of the people,” Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm announced with her usual rhetorical fire during her 1972 bid as the first black woman to run for president. Shola Lynch’s valuable doc traces Chisholm’s campaign, ending with July’s Democratic convention in Miami. Abundant archival footage of other contenders—Edmund Muskie’s breakdown in New Hampshire, a loopy Hubert Humphrey ad—skillfully reinforces Chisholm as a refreshingly quixotic populist, running on fervor and indignation. Enduring the betrayals and equivocations of both NOW and the Congressional Black Caucus, she warned all naysayers: “If you can’t endorse me, get out of my way.” In other words, move on.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 14, 2004