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‘Shirley’ Review: Regina King Shines As Political Trailblazer And First Black Female Elected To Congress And To Run For President
Many may not know the name Shirley Chisholm, but it is not for lack of Hollywood trying to keep her flame alive. The seven-term Brooklyn congresswoman, who became the first African American woman elected to Congress when she won in 1968, also became the first woman and first African American to seek the nomination for President of either major party when she ran for the Democratic nomination in 1972. She defined the word “trailblazer” and her story is indeed inspiring, if also frustrating for all the obstacles she had to overcome in a male-dominated business of governing. Uzo Aduba won an Emmy for her supporting role as Chisholm the 2020 limited series Mrs. America, even as the series itself was focused on conservative gadfly Phyllis Schaffly played by Cate Blanchett. That series touched on the 1972 campaign and thus Chisholm as well, but now, after 15 years of trying, Regina King has realized a longtime goal of doing a movie solely focused on Chisholm. In addition to playing the title role, King is also a producer, probably facing the same stiff odds bringing Chisholm’s life to the screen that her subject faced in Congress, where she introduced more than 50 pieces of legislation during her career and truly made a difference.
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