Fact Check: Senator Kamala Harris's claim about black women elected to Congress

Senator Kamala Harris, United States Senator from California and former California Attorney General, tweeted that Shirley Chisholm inspired black women to seek congressional seats. In the tweet, Harris claimed the following:

Kamala Harris on Twitter

Since Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm’s boldness opened doors, countless others have been inspired to follow in her footsteps. Over the past 50 years, more than 40 Black women have been elected to Congress – and that number will increase in the 116th Congress.


“Over the past 50 years, more than 40 Black women have been elected to Congress”

Factcheck: True. 

This is true. According to the History, Art & Archives of the US House of Representatives, 41 black women have been elected to Congress over the past 50 years.

Women of Color in Congress | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives

Last Updated January 3, 2017Since Hawaii Representative Patsy Mink’s election in 1964, 67 women of color have served in the U.S. Congress. All of these women served in the U.S. House, with the exceptions of Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois (1993-1999), Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada (2017-present) and Kamala Harris of California (2017-present), who served only in the U.S.

Related reading:

Inspired by Shirley Chisholm, black women look to increase their political representation in 2018 (Daily Kos, Feb 2018)

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