In Focus Resource Center > Insights

Black History Month Trailblazers

They Paved the Way in Government



Throughout history, there have been those driven to make a difference in the world, and others who simply acted with courage and dignity at some point during their lives. In either case, the result was the same – they left a legacy – they paved the way for another to succeed because they did something first. For Black History Month, we are celebrating trailblazers, both past and present, who are paving the way.









Trailblazers: They Paved the Way in Government


Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm

Vice President Kamala Harris

Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was the first African American woman in Congress (1968) and the first woman and African American to seek the nomination for President of the United States from one of the two major political parties. She served seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and retired in 1983.

In 1964, Chisholm ran for and became the second African American in the New York State Legislature. After court-ordered redistricting created a new, heavily democratic, district in her neighborhood, in 1968 Chisholm sought—and won—a seat in Congress. There, “Fighting Shirley” introduced more than 50 pieces of legislation and championed racial and gender equality, the plight of the poor, and ending the Vietnam War. 

She was a co-founder of the National Women's Political Caucus in 1971, and in 1977 became the first Black woman and second woman ever to serve on the powerful House Rules Committee.

Kamala Devi Harris, became the 49th Vice President of the United States in 2021, in the Democratic administration of President Joe Biden. She is the first woman, the first African American, and first Indian American to hold the post.

After studying political science and economics at Howard University, Vice President Harris earned a law degree from Hastings College, and subsequently worked as a deputy district attorney in Oakland, earning a reputation for toughness prosecuting cases of gang violence, drug trafficking, and sexual abuse.

Vice President Harris rose through the ranks, becoming district attorney in 2004. In 2010 she was narrowly elected attorney general of California – winning by a margin of less than 1% — thus becoming the first female and the first African American to hold the post. In 2017, Harris won a seat in the U.S. Senate, becoming the first Indian American and just the second Black woman.



Trailblazers In Accounting

Trailblazers In Space

Trailblazers In Law 

Related Insights

All Insights

Our specialists are here to help.

Get in touch with a specialist in your industry today.

* Required

* I understand and agree to Citrin Cooperman’s Privacy Notice, which governs how Citrin Cooperman collects, uses, and shares my personal information. This includes my right to unsubscribe from marketing emails and further manage my Privacy Choices at any time. If you are a California Resident, please refer to our California Notice at Collection. If you have questions regarding our use of your personal data/information, please send an e-mail to