Actress Danai Gurira to Star As Shirley Chisholm In Upcoming Movie

The story of the first African American to run for president in a major party is set to become a feature film.

Black Panther star Danai Gurira is tackling Shirley Chisholm’s political career in the upcoming movie, The Fighting Shirley Chisholm

According to Variety, the script is written by Adam Countee and the film will be directed by Cherien Dabis, who directed several episodes of Empire and The L-Word. The film is not a biopic but centers on Chisholm’s historic 1972 presidential campaign  and 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.”

Viola Davis was originally attached to star in The Fighting Shirley Chisholm

No word on when  the film will be released or how it will be distributed.  

RELATED: Black History Month: Global Game Changers

This isn’t the first time Chisholm’s legacy has made it to screen. In September, Uzo Aduba won an Emmy for her performance in the FX miniseries Mrs. America.

Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was the first African-American woman elected to Congress, and the first major-party Black candidate to run for a major party and to secure the Democratic presidential nomination.

Born in Brooklyn, Chisholm received her Bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College and her Masters from Columbia. She was elected to the New York State Legislature in 1964. 

Once Chisholm won her place in Congress in 1968, she joined the Congressional Black Caucus as one of its founding members. Her extraordinary work as a Congressional leader earned her various awards and accolades, including induction into the National Women's Hall of Fame and into The Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.  

Upon her retirement in 1982, the two-time autobiographer returned to her work as an educator for a few years until retiring to Florida where she died in 2005.

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking Subscribe, you confirm that you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers) and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. You understand that you can unsubscribe at any time.