- The United States of America has only had 11 black senators in its history
- There are hopes that the US will see more in the near future as many say there are not enough minority representation in the Senate
- Even as there are few blacks, there are fewer Latinos in the US Senate's history
Despite promoting its society as a free world, the United States Senate has had only eleven African-American elected or appointed officeholders.
Political analysts say this is due to the fact that during the founding of the federal government, African Americans were consigned to a status of second-class citizenship or enslaved.
It is a known fact that no African American served in federal elective office before the ratification in 1870 of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, although some served in state elective offices concurrently with slavery.
Interestingly, the 113th United States Congress from 2013 to 2015 marked the first time that two African Americans served concurrently in the Senate.
The black US senators are:
1. Hiram Rhoades Revels
Revels (1822-1901), an African American clergyman was the first black person to be elected to the US Senate. He was elected in 1870 in Mississippi after reconstruction but only served two years.
2. Blanche K. Bruce
Bruce was elected to the US Senate in 1874. He was the first African American to serve a full term in the Senate.
3. Edward Brooke III
He was elected senator of Massachusetts as a Republican in 1966. He was the first black senator elected since reconstruction. He was also the first African American elected to the Senate by popular vote.
4. Carol Moseley Braun
Braun was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992 and served a single term. She was the first black woman elected to the US Senate.
5. Barack Obama
Obama was elected to the United States Senate in 2004, making him the fifth black person to serve in the Senate. He would go on to become the first black president of the United States after serving only a portion of his first and only term in the US Senate.
6. Roland Burris
He replaced Obama. He served in the Senate until late November 2010 when his successor was chosen in a special election.
7. Tim Scott
Scott in 2013 became the first African American since Reconstruction to represent a southern state in the Senate. The Republican was appointed to the US Senate during his first term as a member of the US House of Representatives.
8. William “Mo” Cowan
Cowan was named interim US senator of Massachusetts in January 2013. Then a senior advisor to Gov. Deval Patrick, Cowan filled the position until a successor was named for departing Senator John Kerry, who was appointed by Obama.
9. Cory Booker
Booker became New Jersey’s first black US Senator after winning a special election in 2013. He was elected to a full term in 2014 and re-elected to another this past November following an unsuccessful presidential campaign.
10. Kamala Harris
Harris became the first black person — man or woman — to serve as US senator for the state of California. She was elected in 2016. Her inaugural term was cut short after she was elected the first black vice president of the United States as Joe Biden’s running mate in 2020.
11. Rev. Raphael Warnock
Warnock beat Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler to become the first black U.S. Senator from Georgia following an intense runoff campaign and a close runoff election in 2021.
Meanwhile, weeks after naming Nigeria's Adewale Adeyemo as the deputy treasury secretary, the US president-elect Joe Biden has appointed Nigerian-born Funmi Olorunnipa Badejo as one of his legal advisers at the White House.
Olorunnipa Badejo was appointed as the associate counsel as the former vice president on Tuesday, January 12, named more than 20 lawyers to his White House counsel’s office.
Legit.ng had earlier reported that Biden appointed Nigerian-born Osaremen Okolo as one of his advisers on COVID-19.
Okolo, who is a daughter of Nigerian immigrants, was appointed on Thursday, December 31, 2020, as one of the members of the Biden-Harris COVID-19 response team.
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