Brower Park


Wednesday, June 8, 2016
No. 40

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined Heritage Committee Chair Bill Howard, Rabbi Jake Goldstein, the Friends of Brower Park, and local community groups at Brower Park for an official dedication ceremony in honor of Shirley Chisholm. In addition to an official renaming of a circular plaza inside the park, a tree was newly planted and a commemorative plaque was installed.

“Shirley Chisholm was a true icon of change and progress, and commemorating her legacy in the very neighborhood where she grew up is an honor for Parks,” said Commissioner Silver. “Brower Park was an important place to Chisholm throughout her life, and through her many accomplishments, she kept her local community close to her heart. She was a champion of equal rights, advocacy and public service, and the newly renamed Shirley Chisholm Circle will serve as a place of remembrance for her contributions to society. Thank you to all of the many passionate community members, groups, elected officials and sponsors who contributed to this dedication.”

“Shirley Chisholm represented not only the people of central Brooklyn but also the promise of the Voting Rights Act fulfilled,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “Those of us who have followed Representative Chisholm in public service stand as a testament to her belief in the potential for real change within a democracy. This memorial in Brower Park, in the heart of the Crown Heights community to which she devoted her life, will honor her legacy and inspire young women and men to become involved in their government.”

“As the first Black woman elected to Congress and the first woman to ever run for President on the Democratic ticket, Shirley Chisholm shattered ceilings and paved the way for women to run for public office,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “Unbossed and unbought, she was never afraid to speak her mind and call out injustice wherever she saw it. Her life and commitment to public service has been an inspiration to generations of leaders and young women and I’m thrilled that her legacy and support of education, women and equal rights for all will live on in Brower Park.”

Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was years ahead of her time. She was the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress in 1968 and the first African–American woman to be a presidential candidate in 1972.

During her 14 years in Congress, Chisholm was one of four founders of the National Women’s Political Caucus and introduced more than 50 pieces of legislation. She cofounded the Congressional Black Caucus and the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women.

Chisholm was born in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn in 1924. The daughter of Caribbean immigrants, Chisholm was proud of her Caribbean ancestry. Her father emigrated from British Guiana and her mother from Barbados, West Indies.

Chisholm attended school in Barbados from the age of five to eleven. After returning to Brooklyn, Chisholm graduated from Girls High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant; earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Brooklyn College and went on to earn a Master’s Degree from Columbia University. She was recognized as an authority on early education and child welfare.

Chisholm died on January 1, 2005. When asked in a PBS documentary how she wanted to be remembered, she said: “When I die, I want to be remembered as a woman who lived in the 20th century and who dared to be a catalyst of change. I don’t want to be remembered as the first black woman who went to Congress. And I don’t even want to be remembered as the first woman who happened to be black to make the bid for the presidency. I want to be remembered as a woman who fought for change in the 20th century. That’s what I want.”

Directions to Brower Park

  • Brower Park
  • Brower Park Playground
  • Brower Park basketball court
  • Brower Park Playground


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