Renaming of Florida Walking Trail Honors Shirley Chisholm, First Black Woman in Congress

Renaming of Florida Walking Trail Honors Shirley Chisholm, First Black Woman in Congress

By the end of the month, Floridians can hike on a trail of history.

Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to Congress in 1968 and first to run for president in 1972, will be honored in Florida by having a hiking trail in Palm Coast named after her.

According to Flagler Live, the Palm Coast Beautification and Advisory Committee voted in January to rename the Pine Lakes Trail to the Shirley Chisholm Trail.

Chisholm retired to Palm Coast in 1991 and lived there for about 10 years before purchasing a home in Ormond Beach’s Halifax Plantation in 2001. When Chisholm died in 2005, the the 80-year-old pioneer’s funeral was held in Palm Coast.

“I knew representative Chisholm, I met her in the late 90s when she was living here and involved in the local community politics,” Beautification Committee Chairman Jeffrey Seib said in February.

Fox 35 Orlando reported that pictures and grainy video of Chisholm on the campaign trail in Florida in 1972 were found in the state’s archives. In one video she told reporters that she is an “un-bought and un-bossed politician.”

“One of my favorite quotes of hers is, ‘When they don’t give you a seat at the table, you pull up a folding chair,” said Jill Reynolds, who is with the group working to honor Chisholm and the Domestic Women’s Club of Flagler County. According to the outlet, the group wants visitors on the trail to reflect on the history and legacy of Chisholm’s political activism.

“In the modern political era, Black women have been one of the most reliable voting blocs,” said Aubrey Jewett, a university of central Florida Professor.

“[They] helped flip those states from voting for [Donald] Trump in 2016 to voting for Biden in 2020,” Jewett added. “In 2018, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis won 4/10th of a percent and it was close. One group that helped sway the election according to polls were Black women who voted for him in slightly larger numbers than for other Republicans. The main reason according to analysis was because of [the issue of] school choice.”

“Know who Shirley Chisholm was and how important she was. How many people she paved the way for others to follow her path,” Reynolds said.

The renaming ceremony will take place November 30, which would have been Chisholm’s 98th birthday. The 10 a.m. event at the golf course on Pine Lakes Parkway, is open to the public.