The West Volusia Branch NAACP Religious Affairs Committee salutes the Honorable Shirley Anita  Chisholm during this 2024 Black History Month. As a smart, pioneering, and outspoken woman, she became the first Black woman elected as a United States Congresswoman (reelected six times)  and the first Black woman to officially run for the office of President of the United States of America. Having been born in Brooklyn, New York on November 30, 1924, she spent her later years in Flager and Volusia Counties in Florida. She died at the age of 80 in 2005 in Ormond Beach, Florida.

As a black person and a woman of political power during the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s’ she made remarkable achievements that called for tenacity,  courage, intelligence, skills, and faith. Her autobiography is so appropriately entitled “Unbought and Unbossed” which was also her presidential campaign slogan in 1972.  She stated in her memoirs, “I hope if I am remembered it will finally be for what I have done, not for what I happen to be.” Some of her achievements include her work in the advocacy of Black history curriculum, civil rights, women’s rights, early childhood education, unemployment benefits, minimum wage increases, veterans, and children benefits including the creation of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), rulemaking, teaching, writing, her founding membership and work in both the Congressional Black Caucus and National Women’s Political Caucus, and so much more.

The City of Palm Coast in Flager County renamed Pine Lake Trail to the Shirley Chisolm Trail on November 30, 2023, in honor of her legacy. Her adopted godson, Dr. Willie James Greer Kimmons, who resides in Daytona Beach, Florida wrote the book, The Personal, Private, Professional, Political Life and Legacy of the Honorable Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm-Hardwick to portray some of his most intimate encounters with this woman of legacy whom he first met at a local NAACP Organizational meeting in Memphis Tennessee. He describes her as a mentor, risk-taker, and an agent for change, and spent many visitation hours with her when she resided in Palm Coast and Ormond Beach. Florida. Kimmons concludes his dissertation on her life by quoting her two favorite poems, both by unknown authors, entitled “Love to Live” and “A Message for Life and Living.” The first portion of the latter poem starts: “Always give honor and praise to God, our supreme being for this wonderful day. Because God is good all the time and all the time God is good. God is an awesome God. Just try him.”

As people of faith, when leaders such as the Honorable Shirley  Chisholm rise up, we must give Glory to God, heed their admonitions, implement ways and means to become the fruits of their efforts and find ways to make them relevant to our time, and communities, seeking the support and interpretation of Biblical examples and references. We have seen God’s hands-on women in scripture, much like that of her.

The Honorable Shirley  Chisholm’s spirit is relatable to that of Prophetess Huldah. Prophetess Huldah’s story can be found in 2 Kings 22:1 and 2 Chronicles 34:1 as she served during the period of Jeremiah. After discovering the indictment-filled law book found during the temple renovation, King Josiah needed an intermediary to authenticate the scripture and to petition God on behalf of himself and the people of Judah. At his direction, the male priests, scribes, and the king’s servant without hesitation went to Huldah for an interpretation. Huldah’s nonfeminine response to the king’s messengers saying, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me, Thus says the LORD…(2 Ki. 22:15-16  NKJV) caused her to be labeled by some scholars as “haughty.” That’s one that the Honorable Shirley  Chisholm could relate to as she spoke up many times.  God allowed Huldah to be his mouthpiece and it was through her unapologetic directions to King Josiah that the king reformed the nation. He and the people then wholeheartedly followed and served the LORD by keeping his commands, statutes, and decrees, and removing all the abominations from all of the country belonging to the Israelites. (2 Chr. 34:29-33 NKJV).

We can surely see that the Honorable Shirley  Chisholm was instrumental, through her many achievements, in bringing positive reform to our nation. Her  fearless voice to presidents and politicians still resounds in not only Black History, but in Women’s History, American History, and World History as the woman who could and did boldly speak up for the underserved, disparaged, undereducated, marginalized, and unrepresented with an independent voice and determination because she was  “unbought and unbossed.”

Article submitted by Rev. Dr. Caroline Shine, West Volusia Branch NAACP 3rd VP, Religious Affair Committee Member, and the Branch Women in the NAACP (WIN) Spiritual Liaison. She is the Pastor of Greater Faith AME Church, Deltona, and President of the West Volusia/Seminole Section of the National Council of Negro Women.


Biography. “Shirley Chisholm – Quotes, Family & Facts,” May 4, 2021.

Chisholm, Shirley. Unbought and Unbossed. Reprint edition. New York, NY: Amistad, 2022.

History. “Shirley Chisholm: Facts About Her Trailblazing Career,” January 26, 2024.

Kimmons, Dr. Willie James Greer, and Dr. E. Faye Williams MPA DPA D. Min DTh Esq. The Personal, Private, Professional, Political Life and Legacy of the Honorable Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm-Hardwick: By Dr. Willie James Greer Kimmons, Mrs. Chisholm’s Godson. AuthorHouse, 2022.

Observer Local News. “Shirley Chisholm Trail Recognizes a ‘National Citizen of Palm Coast,’” January 16, 2023.

“Shirley Chisholm Historical Marker.” Accessed February 21, 2024.

“Shirley Chisholm (U.S. National Park Service).” Accessed February 21, 2024.

Shine, Dr. Caroline. Developing Intentional Ecclesiastical Mentors for Women in Ministry Using Biblical Principles: “Encouraging and Strengthening Others.” Shine Publishing, 2023.