An ambitious ode to the first ever black congresswoman is set to launch in Brooklyn in 2020, with the two artists aiming to subvert expectations
When it was announced in December that Shirley Chisholm, the first black congresswoman, would get a statue in New York, many echoed the sentiment she stood for: Its about time.
Now, the artists have been selected to memorialize her legacy. Amanda Williams and Olalekan Jeyifous have created a design for the corner of Prospect Park not far from where Chisholm once lived for a new monument entitled Our Destiny, Our Democracy.
Chisholm is now the first woman to have a public monument in her honor in Brooklyn, and is the first commission in the series commissioned by She Built NYC, which will fund five sculptures of pioneering New York women. Set to be installed in Prospect Park by 2020, it signals a new era for the city, which has 150 statues of men but just five of women.
Chisholm, who was born and bred in Brooklyn, was elected to Congress in 1968 and launched her bid for US presidency in 1972. She once said: Racism is so universal in this country, so widespread and deep-seated, that it is invisible because it is so normal.
Jeyifous, a resident of Brooklyn, said: Her legacy is so incredible, her run for presidency was so bold, she made space for marginalized communities in a political process that actively discourages their involvement and continues to discourage their involvement.
The idea for this non-traditional monument which breaks the bronze ceiling features Chisholm alongside the shape of the Capitol Hill building near her heart. The monument will be at the entrance to Prospect Park at the corner of Ocean and Parkside Avenues, by the Parkside Avenue metro stop.