Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007 (Paperback Edition)

Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007 (Paperback Edition)
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Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007 provides a comprehensive history of the more than 120 African Americans who have served in the United States Congress from 1870 through 2007. Individual profiles are introduced by contextual essays that explain major events in congressional and U.S. history. Illustrated with many portraits, photographs, and charts.

House Document 108-224. 3d edition. Edited by Matthew Wasniewski. Paperback edition.

Questions that are answered include: How many African Americans have served in the U.S. Congress? How did Reconstruction, the Great Migration, and the post-World War II civil rights movement affect black Members of Congress? Who was the first African American to chair a congressional committee?

Read about:

  • Pioneers who overcame racial barriers, such as Oscar De Priest of Illinois, the first African American elected to Congress in the 20th century, and Shirley Chisholm of New York, the first black Congresswoman
  • Masters of institutional politics, such as Augustus "Gus" Hawkins of California, Louis Stokes of Ohio, and Julian Dixon of California
  • Notables such as Civil War hero Robert Smalls of South Carolina, civil rights champion Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., of New York, and constitutional scholar Barbara Jordan of Texas
  • And many more.

Black Americans in Congress also includes:

  • Pictures-including rarely seen historical images-of each African American who has served in Congress
  • Bibliographies and references to manuscript collections for each Member
  • Statistical graphs and charts
  • A comprehensive index

Other related products:

African Americans resources collection can be found here:

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-2005 can be found here:

Women in Congress, 1917-2006 --Hardcover format can be found here:

United States Congressional Serial Set, Serial No. 14903, House Document No. 223, Women in Congress, 1917-2006 is available here:

Hispanic Americans in Congress, 1822-2012 --Print Hardcover format can be found here: --Print Paperback format can be found here:  --ePub format available for Free download is available here: --MOBI format is available for Free download here:


American citizens, civics and history teachers, lobbyists, attorneys, government contractors, and news media staff may be interested in this annual, primary source reference. Middle and high school libraries, as well as public, higher education, and special libraries, should have a copy of this annual publication in their reference collections.



American Political Science Association Legislative Studies Section Newsletter Review: Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007, by Ron Peters, Regents' Professor of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma, January 2009:

"This beautifully prepared volume provides a plethora of information about African-Americans who have served in the Congress. Part I provides four chronologically organized chapters under the heading "Former Black Members of Congress." Each chapter provides a lengthy biographical sketch of the members who served during the period addressed, along with a narrative historical account of the era and tables of information about the Congress during that time. Part II provides similar information about current African-American members. There are 10 appendixes providing tabular information of a variety of sorts about the service of Black members, including such things as a summary list, service on committees and in party leadership posts, familial connections, and so forth. The entire volume is 803 large folio pages in length and there are many illustrations. The book should be part of every library and research collection, and congressional scholars may well wish to obtain it for their personal libraries."

Library Journal Special Featured Article: "Looking Back, Moving On: 2008 Best Notable Government Documents" by Jim Church May 15, 2009 

"Written for a general sudience, these profiles of each of the 121 African American members of Congress outline their history and career. Divided into four time periods, contextual essays help explain the majoyr events in congressional and U.S. history. With extensive appendixes, a comprehensibe index, and statistical graphs and charts."

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House, Office of the Clerk, Office of History and Preservation
  • Wasniewski, Matthew
2008: 803 p.; ill.
On the first printing of the paperback, the hardcover ISBN and barcode were printed in error. A new ISBN 9780160836183 has been assigned to this paperback.
Key Phrases:
  • Congress
  • Black History
  • Biographies
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