It has been more than 150 years since African Americans first served in Congress. In 1870, Hiram Rhodes Revels of Mississippi was appointed to complete a one-year term in the Senate. That same year, Joseph Rainey was elected to represent South Carolina’s First District in the House. Together, the two men, just five years past the Civil War and ratification of the 13th Amendment, began a journey that continues today.
As we celebrate Black History Month and the 50-year anniversary of the Congressional Black Caucus, it is worth reflecting on how far our nation has come—and how far we have to go. Our newest guide introduces you to every African-American lawmaker in the House and Senate, with key demographic data such as religious and party affiliation, military service, and past leadership roles.