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Danai Gurira to Star as The Fighting Shirley Chisholm, Film Will Follow Trailblazer's 1972 Presidential Run

Danai Gurira, left, participates in “The Walking Dead” panel at the Comic-Con International on Friday, July 19, 2019; In this May 16, 1972, file photo, Rep. Shirley Chisholm, D-NY, talks during a speech in San Francisco while campaigning for the U.S. Presidency.
Danai Gurira, left, participates in “The Walking Dead” panel at the Comic-Con International on Friday, July 19, 2019; In this May 16, 1972, file photo, Rep. Shirley Chisholm, D-NY, talks during a speech in San Francisco while campaigning for the U.S. Presidency.
Photo: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP (AP), AP Photo/ Richard Drew, File (AP)

As we watch history being made with Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, we can’t help but uphold Rep. Shirley Chisholm’s name. Hell, when we talk about any woman (of any color) we have to honor Chisholm’s name. We’ve beenwith her.”

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Chisholm not only made history as the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress (serving 1969-1983), she became the first African American candidate to be nominated by a major party for U.S. President as well as the first woman period to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

Naturally, Hollywood is itching to tell her story in various ways. According to Variety, Danai Gurira will be starring as Chisholm in the upcoming film The Fighting Shirley Chisholm, which will chronicle the congresswoman’s historic 1972 presidential run.

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More info about the upcoming film via Variety:

Cherien Dabis will direct the film, from a script written by Adam Countee. Stephanie Allain will produce through her Homegrown Pictures banner, with Gabrielle Ebron as an executive producer.

Though Gurira will play Chisholm, the movie is not a biopic, instead focused more centrally on the campaign and how “the Chisholm Trail was populated by young people who sought social and political change during one of the most turbulent times in American history.”

If that title sounds familiar, it’s because it was previously led by Amazon Studios, with Viola Davis attached to star. There was also news of a Chisholm film produced by and starring Anika Noni Rose back in 2016. Most recently, Uzo Aduba won an Emmy for portraying Chisholm in the FX miniseries, Mrs. America.

Also, it’s important to note that while I’m glad to see two Black women producing The Fighting Shirley Chisholm (Allain and Ebron), I would ideally like to see a Black woman write and direct a film about her as she means so much to us. A Black woman’s creative eye would not only be special—but necessary. Since there are so many avenues to explore in Chisholm’s rich life (and it’s not uncommon that there are multiple biopics about the same person produced in Hollywood, sometimes promoted around the same time), I am holding out hope that this happens in the future.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

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