Regina King as Shirley Chisholm, being filmed at a desk with an American flag in the background.

Chisholm for President

Posted by Speakeasy News > Friday 03 May 2024 > Ready to Use

You may not be familiar with her name but you must be familiar with her struggle: fighting inequalities, defending minorities and women… Shirley Chisholm, a trailblazer in politics, the first African American woman to run for president in the 1970s paved the way for the following generations thanks to her determination. Her willpower and desire to make things change led to her nickname: "Fighting Shirley".

A new film on Netflix pays tribute to this key figure and following activities based on the poster, the trailer and a few biographical websites will enable the students to not only discover her life and struggle but also to understand how crucial she was in politics in the 1970s.

In a year where the Presidential race is lacking in suspense, this could be a different way to approach U.S. politics in class. It could also be linked to Shine Bright 2e File 19 Breaking the chains or Shine Bright AMC File 5 Black Lives Matter.

Vocabulary and structures

  • defending a cause : advocate, pioneer, trailblazer, show the way…
  • ambition : ambitious, determined, stamina, brave…
  • politics: run for president, campaign, serve a term, Congress…
  • hypothesis : modals (may, might..) and expressions (be bound to/ likely to..)
  • talking about past events : preterite
  • linking words to express contrast, consequence.. : while, as a consequence, even though…


Chisholm (two silent consonants!) /ˈtʃɪzəm/

This is the trailer used in the worksheet, featuring Regina King as Shirley Chisholm:

Ready to Use Downloadable resources ready to use in class
> A Youth Voice for Congress
> How to Elect a President
Notion(s) culturelle(s) : "Parcours citoyen"