Arts / TV

Danai Gurira confirmed to play trailblazing politician, Shirley Chisholm, in new film

Danai Gurira Shirley Chisholm film

The story of pioneering politician and congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm, is making its way to the screen, with news that actress Danai Gurira will portray the trailblazer in a new film titled The Fighting Shirley Chisholm.

In contrary to the traditional biopic format, the film will instead focus on Chisholm's history-making political career. From becoming the first Black female elected into congress in 1968, to her iconic presidential campaign run, which also marked the first time a Black woman had run for the presidential nomination of a major political party. Despite Chisholm's monumental strides in dismantling stereotypes of the time, her road to presidential success was eventually halted when her campaign was met with significant sexism – even from within her own party.

Variety confirms that The Fighting Shirley Chisholm will explore 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,” and her journey to recognising “that she could make real change by challenging the status quo through her efforts to gain enough delegates to speak for the people at the Democratic Convention.”

Cherien Dabis, who has directed episodes of RamyOzarkThe Sinner, and Empire, will be directing the film, alongside Stephanie Allain and Gabrielle Ebron who will be producing. Adam Countee, who has shared his talents on shows like CommunitySilicon ValleyVice Principals, and HBO’s Run, is set to be writing the script for The Fighting Shirley Chisholm.

If there was ever a question about Chisholm's influence on the political sphere, one only needs to look to vice-president elect, Kamala Harris, who invoked the politician on the campaign trail. Speaking at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Harris mentioned the political pioneer as one of her greatest inspirations, sharing "women like Mary Church Terrell and Mary McLeod Bethune. Fannie Lou Hamer and Diane Nash. Constance Baker Motley and Shirley Chisholm. We’re not often taught their stories. But as Americans, we all stand on their shoulders."

The Fighting Shirley Chisholm was originally set to stream through Amazon Prime, however, no further details on where we'll be able to watch the film have been confirmed as yet.

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