African American in the U.S. Congress

In 2017, in the 115th Congress, counting the recent election of South Carolina’s Tim Scott, there are 50 African Americans collectively serving in the House and U.S. Senate. Starting in 1870 during Reconstruction, to date there have been 140 African American members of Congress, including 130 members of the House of Representatives, and 10 U.S. Senators, six of whom were elected. Of that number, there have been 106 Democrats, including 101 in the House and six in the Senate; and 30 Republicans, including 26 in the House and four in the U.S. Senate. Those 140 members have represented 27 states. (See Figure 1-A)During Reconstruction, there were 15 African Americans, all Republicans, elected to Congress, with Hiram Revels being recorded as the first African American elected to Congress. The last African American elected during that time period was out of office by 1901, and there was not another African American elected until 28 years later (Oscar DePriest, Illinois). Since then (1929), there has been a steady Black American presence in Congress (all in the House until 1967). The last Reconstruction Senator Blanche K. Bruce, from Mississippi, was out of office in 1881, and there was not another African American elected to the Senate for nearly 100 years, until Edward Brooke of Massachusetts was elected to two full Senate terms starting in 1967. Since then, there have been seven more African Americans elected to the U.S. Senate, the last three being Corey Booker from New Jersey, Tim Scott from South Carolina and Kamala Harris from California. Senator Scott is the first Black American Senator from the South since Reconstruction, and Senator Harris is only the second African American woman elected to the Senate. Arthur Mitchell, representing Illinois, was the first African American Democrat elected to the House of Representatives, and was so elected in 1935 and served until 1943.It’s been a long road, but as of this date in 2017, there are 48 African American members of the House, and two U.S. Senators, all of whom are members of the Congressional Black Caucus (except Senator Scott).STATES WHICH HAVE ELECTED AFRICAN AMERICAN CONGRESSMEN Alabama (6) California (13) Connecticut (1)Florida (7) Georgia (8) Illinois (17-3 Senators)Indiana (3) Louisiana (4) Maryland (5)Massachusetts (1) Michigan (6) Minnesota (1)Mississippi (5) Missouri (4) New Jersey (3)New York (9) North Carolina (8) Ohio (3)Oklahoma (1) Pennsylvania (4) South Carolina (10) Tennessee (2) Texas (6) Virginia (2) Wisconsin (1)Figure 1-African American congressmen during and just after reconstruction________________________________________NAME | STATE REPRESENTED | POSITION | YEARS IN OFFICE Blanche K. Bruce | Mississippi Senator 1875-1881 Richard Cain | South Carolina H.R. 1873-1875, 77-79 Henry Cheatham North Carolina H.R. 1889-1893 Robert Delarge South Carolina H.R. 1871-1873 Robert Elliot South Carolina H.R. 1871-1874 Jeremiah Haralson Alabama H.R. 1875-1877 John Hyman North Carolina H.R. 1875-1877 Jefferson Long Georgia H.R. 1871-1873John M. Langston Virginia H.R. 1890-1891 John Lynch Mississippi H.R. 1873-77, 1882-83 Thomas E. Miller South Carolina H.R. 1889-1891George Murray South Carolina H.R. 1893-1897 Charles Nash Louisiana H.R. 1875-1877 James O’hara North Carolina H.R. 1883-1887 Hiram Revels Mississippi Senator 1870-71 Joseph Rainey South Carolina H.R. 1870-1879 Alonzo Ransier South Carolina H.R. 1873-1875 James Rapier Alabama H.R. 1873-1875 Robert Smalls South Carolina H.R. 1875-79, 1882-87 Benjamin Turner Alabama H.R. 1871-1873 Josiah Walls Florida H.R. 1871-1876 George White North Carolina H.R. 1897-1901