On Saturday, December 1, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm declared to a jubilant group of listeners: "I am so glad to be here this morning. I said that if there were only six of us here this morning, it would be a beginning." Over four hundred Black women had gathered in New York to hear and applaud Ms. Chisholm as she gave the keynote address for the First Regional Conference of the National Black Feminist Organization.
All of us who were there, despite our abundant numbers and far-flung geographic origins, knew why Ms. Chisholm had anticipated a turnout of under ten. Never had significant numbers of Black women publicly gathered to explore the issues of being both Black and female from a feminist perspective. The consensus of the participants was that five or even two years ago such a conference would have been impossibie.