Black Members of the United States Congress: 1870-2005
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
Pagination or Media Count:
A record number of 43 black or African-American Members serve in the 109th Congress 42 in the House of Representatives, one in the Senate. There have been 117 black Members of Congress 112 elected to the House and five to the Senate. The majority of the black Members 90 have been Democrats the rest 27 have been Republicans. The first black Member of Congress was Hiram Rhodes Revels R-MS, who served in the Senate in the 41st Congress 1870. The first black Member of the House was Joseph H. Rainey R-SC. He also served in the 41st Congress. Shirley Chisholm D-NY, elected to the 91st through 97th Congresses 1969-1983, was the first black woman in Congress. Since that time, 23 other black women have been elected, including Senator Carol Moseley-Braun D-IL, 1993-1999, who was the first black woman, as well as the first black Democrat, elected to the Senate. The black Members of Congress have served on all major committees. Sixteen have served as committee chairmen, 15 in the House and one in the Senate.
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