Profile: Congresswoman Gwen Moore

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript
Congresswoman Gwen Moore

Congresswoman Gwen Moore hide caption

itoggle caption

The first week of 2005 saw two notable passages: the death of Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected to Congress, and the congressional inauguration of Gwen Moore. Wisconsin's first African-American member of Congress, Moore took her official oath of office on Jan. 4, using a Bible from her late mother.

Listen: <b>Web Extra</b>: Moore on Running for Office

In her hometown of Milwaukee, hundreds of people — black, white, Hispanic and even Hmong — gathered to usher in the tenure of this former teenage mom. On and off welfare during her years as a student at Marquette University, Moore became a housing activist and policy analyst. She then spent 16 years in the Wisconsin Legislature before winning the seat previously held by House Democrat Jerry Kleczka, who retired from Congress after almost 21 years.

Listen: <b>Web Extra</b>: Moore on Civil Rights

Despite her historical accomplishment, Moore, a famously blunt speaker, remains grounded. "People have a BS meter," she tells NPR's Jacki Lyden. "People who don't agree with you want to know that you're for real. As the young people say, they want you to keep it real."



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.