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According to the Hollywood Reporter, Danai Gurira is set to to play historical political figure Shirley Chisholm in The Fighting Shirley Chisholm. The semi-biopic film will tell the inspiring story of Chisholm, who was the first Black congresswoman in America. Gurira will portray Chisholm throughout her historic, but unsuccessful, campaign as the Democratic presidential nominee. The filmmakers have said that it will not be a traditional biopic but a retelling of a fierce icon.


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The film will depict Chisholm’s 1972 presidential bid as the Democratic nominee and first Black woman presidential candidate. Her campaign was reportedly favourable with youth who wanted to actively participate in political change. The story will particularly focus on Chisholm’s campaign to gain enough delegates to speak for Black people at the Democratic Convention. Elected into congress in 1968, Chisholm was an iconic Civil Rights figure at the height of America’s Civil Rights movement which saw the rise of the Black Panthers. Chisholm stood out also as a pioneer of women’s rights and as an outspoken feminist. Gurira is sure to do justice to the role given that the Zimbabwean-American actress’s strong, Black women-led roles. Furthermore, Gurira has been very vocal and active in the recent 2020 US elections.

Uzo Aduba recently snagged an Emmy Award for her portrayal of Chisholm in Hulu series Mrs America. This news is a welcomed gift considering that Kamala Harris recently made history as the first Black female Vice President of the United States of America.

An all female diverse production cast is set to direct and produce the film. Cherien Dabis, Stephanie Allian will produce through Homegrown Studios and Gabrielle Ebron is the executive producer. Dabis is a veteran film and television director with recent credits on Ozark, Ramy and Apple’s Little Voice. Gurira is most famous for her breakout role in The Walking Dead and was last seen in theaters in the Avengers films, reprising her Black Panther role.

Unfortunately, Gurira’s plans to direct and produce the Americanah series were recently dashed because of scheduling conflicts and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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