Humility and candor defined Shirley’s presence as she refused to delve too far into the politics behind the media firestorm that cost her her position at the US Department of Agriculture last July. From her forced resignation to the flood of apologies that reached her from both the White House and the NAACP a few days later, one could say she has become another unlikely icon of the ongoing fight for racial equality.
“What has happened to me in the last few months goes to show that the Civil Rights Movement, that pursuing the education of our country in tolerance and solidarity is not something we can afford to reminisce about. It’s happening today, it happens everyday. What my story should show you is our ability for change. If Bob could change and I could change and the White House, the media could change, all of us can change. It’s never too bad and it’s never too late. It’s in all of our hands.”