Facebook Twitter

Donate to BlackPast Blog
  • African American History
  • African American History in the West
  • Global African History
  • Perspectives

NOTE: will not disclose, use, give or sell any of the requested information to third parties.

7 + 5 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

Rock the Vote

NAAAS & Affiliates 27th Joint National Conference

Shop Amazon and help in the Classroom

Major African American Office Holders Since 1641

The election of Illinois Senator Barack Obama as President of the United States in 2008 has focused attention on the history of black office holding. The list below represents the most significant of the thousands of African American elected officials from 1641 until today. Most of the names below are linked to their profiles on

First Person of African Ancestry Elected to a Public Office in British North America:
Matthias de Sousa, Colonial Maryland Legislature, 1641-1642

First Person of African Ancestry Elected to a State Office in the United States:
Alexander Twilight, Vermont Legislature, 1836-1837

First African American Woman Elected to a State Legislature:
Crystal Bird Fauset, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1938-1940

First African American Woman Elected to a State Senate:
Cora Brown, Michigan State Senate, 1953-1956


President of the United States:

Barack Obama, 2009-2017

United States Senate:

Hiram Rhodes Revels, Mississippi, 1870-1871
Blanche K. Bruce, Mississippi, 1875-1881
Edward W. Brooke, Massachusetts, 1967-1979
Carol Moseley Braun, Illinois, 1993-1999
Barack Obama, Illinois, 2005-2009
Roland Burris, Illinois, 2009-2011
Tim Scott, South Carolina, 2013--
Cory Booker, New Jersey, 2013--
William "Mo" Cowan, Massachusetts, 2013-2013
Kamala Devi Harris, California, 2016--

United States House of Representatives:


John Willis Menard, Louisiana, 1868 (elected but not seated)
Joseph H. Rainey, South Carolina, 1869-1879
Jefferson F. Long, Georgia, 1870-1871
Josiah T. Walls, Florida, 1871-1876
Benjamin S. Turner, Alabama, 1871-1873
Robert Carlos DeLarge, South Carolina, 1871-1873
Robert B. Elliott, South Carolina, 1871-1874
Richard H. Cain, South Carolina, 1873-1875, 1877-1879
Alonzo J. Ransier, South Carolina, 1873-1875
James T. Rapier, Alabama, 1873-1875
John R. Lynch, Mississippi, 1873-1877, 1882-1883
Jeremiah Haralson, Alabama, 1875-1877
John Adams Hyman, North Carolina, 1875-1877
Charles E. Nash, Louisiana, 1875-1877
Robert Smalls, South Carolina, 1875-1879, 1881-1887
James E. O'Hara, North Carolina, 1883-1887
John M. Langston, Virginia, 1889-1891
Henry P. Cheatham, North Carolina, 1889-1893
Thomas E. Miller, South Carolina, 1890-1891
George W. Murray, South Carolina, 1893-1895, 1896-1897
George Henry White, North Carolina, 1897-1901
Oscar S. DePriest, Illinois, 1929-1935
Arthur W. Mitchell, Illinois, 1935-1943
William L. Dawson, Illinois, 1943-1970
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., New York, 1945-1971
Charles C. Diggs, Michigan, 1955-1980
Robert N.C. Nix, Pennsylvania, 1958-1979
Augustus F. Hawkins, California, 1963--1991
John Conyers, Jr., Michigan, 1965-2017 
William Lacey Clay, Missouri, 1969-2001
Louis Stokes, Ohio, 1969-1999
Shirley Chisholm, New York, 1969-1983
George Collins, Illinois, 1970-1972
Ronald Dellums, California, 1971-1998
Ralph Metcalfe, Illinois, 1971-1978
Parren Mitchell, Maryland, 1971-1987
Charles B. Rangel, New York, 1971-2017 
Yvonne Braithwaite Burke, California, 1973-1979
Cardiss Collins, Illinois, 1973-1997
Barbara Jordan, Texas, 1973-1979
Andrew Young, Georgia, 1973-1977
Harold Ford, Sr., Tennessee, 1975-1997
Julian C. Dixon, California, 1979-2000
William H. Gray, III, Pennsylvania, 1979-1991
Mickey Leland, Texas, 1979-1989
Bennett M. Stewart, Illinois, 1971-1981
George W. Crockett, Jr., Michigan, 1980-1991
Mervyn M. Dymally, California, 1981-1993
August (Gus) Savage, Illinois, 1981-1993
Harold Washington, Illinois, 1981-1983
Katie Hall, Indiana, 1982-1985
Major Robert Owens, New York, 1983-2007
Edolphus Towns, New York, 1983--
Alan Wheat, Missouri, 1983-1995
Charles Hayes, Illinois, 1983-1993
Alton R. Waldon, Jr., New York, 1986-1987
Mike Espy, Mississippi, 1987-1993
Floyd H. Flake, New York, 1987-1998
John R. Lewis, Georgia, 1987--
Kweisi Mfume, Maryland, 1987-1996
Donald M. Payne, New Jersey, 1989-2012
Craig Anthony Washington, Texas, 1989-1995
Barbara-Rose Collins, Michigan, 1991-1997
Gary Franks, Connecticut, 1991-1997
William J. Jefferson, Louisiana, 1991-2009
Maxine Waters, California, 1991--
Lucien E. Blackwell, Pennsylvania, 1991-1995
Eva M. Clayton, North Carolina, 1992-2003
Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., Georgia, 1993--
Corrine Brown, Florida, 1993-2017 
James E. Clyburn, South Carolina, 1993--
Cleo Fields, Louisiana, 1993-1997
Alcee Hastings, Florida, 1993--
Earl Hilliard, Alabama, 1993-2003
Eddie Bernice Johnson, Texas, 1993--
Cynthia McKinney, Georgia, 1993-2003, 2005-2007
Carrie M. Meek, Florida, 1993-2003
Mel Reynolds, Illinois, 1993-1995
Bobby Rush, Illinois, 1993--
Robert C. Scott, Virginia, 1993--
Walter Tucker, California, 1993-1995
Mel Watt, North Carolina 1993-2014 
Albert Wynn, Maryland, 1993-2008
Bennie Thompson, Mississippi, 1993--
Chaka Fattah, Pennsylvania, 1995-2016 
Shelia Jackson-Lee, Texas, 1995--
J.C. Watts, Oklahoma, 1995-2003
Jessie Jackson, Jr., Illinois, 1995-2012
Juanita Millender-McDonald, California, 1996-2007
Elijah Cummings, Maryland, 1996--
Julia Carson, Indiana, 1997-2007
Danny K. Davis, Illinois, 1997--
Harold Ford, Jr., Tennessee, 1997-2007
Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, Michigan, 1997--
Gregory W. Meeks, New York, 1998--
Barbara Lee, California, 1998--
Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Ohio, 1999-2008
William Lacy Clay, Jr., Missouri, 2001--
Diane Watson, California, 2001--
Frank Ballance, North Carolina, 2003-2004
Artur Davis, Alabama, 2003-2011
Denise Majette, Georgia, 2003-2005
Kendrick Meek, Florida, 2003-2011 
David Scott, Georgia, 2003--
G.K. Butterfield, North Carolina, 2004--
Marc Veasey, Texas, 2004--
Emanuel Cleaver, Missouri, 2005--
Al Green, Texas, 2005--
Gwen Moore, Wisconsin, 2005--
Yvette D. Clarke, New York, 2007--
Keith Ellison, Minnesota, 2007-2018 
Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Georgia, 2007--
Laura Richardson, California, 2007-2012 
Andre Carson, Indiana, 2009--
Donna Edwards, Maryland, 2009--
Wilson, Frederica, Florida, 2010--
Terryinca Sewall,
Alabama, 2010 --
Marcia Fudge, Ohio, 2009--
Tim Scott, South Carolina, 2011--2012
Allen West
, Florida, 2011-2013
Hansen Clarke, Michigan, 2011-2013
Cedrick Levon Richmond, Louisiana, 2012--
Robin L. Kelly, 2013--
Mia Love, Utah, 2015-2019
Brenda L. Lawrence, Michigan, 2014--
Alma Adams, North Carolina, 2014--
Will Hurd, Texas, 2015--
Bonnie Watson Coleman, New Jersey, 2015--

Non-Voting Congressional Delegates:

Walter E. Fauntroy, District of Columbia, 1971-1991
Melvin Herbert Evans, Virgin Islands, 1979-1981
Eleanor Holmes Norton, District of Columbia, 1991--
Victor O. Frazier, Virgin Islands, 1995-1997
Donna Christian-Christensen, Virgin Islands, 1997--

United States Supreme Court:

Thurgood Marshall, 1967-1991
Clarence Thomas, 1991--

Presidential Cabinet Members (Department Secretaries Only):

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Administration, 1963-1969
Robert Weaver, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, 1967-1969

The Gerald Ford Administration, 1974-1977

William T. Coleman, Secretary of Transportation, 1975-1977

The Jimmy Carter Administration, 1977-1981

Patricia Roberts Harris, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, 1977-1979, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, 1979-1981
Andrew Young, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, 1977-1979

The Ronald Reagan Administration, 1981-1989
Samuel Pierce, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, 1981-1989

The George Herbert Walker Bush Administration, 1989-1993
Louis Wade Sullivan, Health and Human Services, 1989-1993

The Bill Clinton Administration, 1993-2001
Joycelyn Elders, U.S. Surgeon General, 1993-1994
Ronald Brown
, U.S. Commerce Secretary, 1993-1996
Hazel O'Leary, Secretary of Energy, 1993-1997
Jesse Brown, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 1993-1997
Rodney E. Slater, Secretary of Transportation, 1997-2001
Togo D. West, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 1998-2000
David Satcher, U.S. Surgeon General, 1998-2001

The George W. Bush Administration, 2001-2009
David Satcher, U.S. Surgeon General, 2001-2002
Rod Paige, Secretary of Education, 2001-2005
Colin Powell, Secretary of State, 2001-2005
Alphonso Jackson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development 2004-2008
Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State, 2005-2009

The Barack Obama Administration, 2009-2017
Eric Holder, Attorney General, 2009-2015
Lisa Perez Jackson, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, 2009-2013
Ron Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative, 2009-2017
Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, 2009-2017
Regina Marcia Benjamin, U.S. Surgeon General, 2009-2013
Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security, 2013-2017
Anthony Foxx, Secretary of Transportation, 2013-2017
Loretta Lynch, Attorney General, 2015-2017

The Donald J. Trump Administration, 2017--
Benjamin S. Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, 2017--




Pickney Benton Stewart Pinchback, Louisiana, 1872-1873 (Acting Governor)
L. Douglas Wilder, Virginia, 1990-1994
Deval Patrick, Massachusetts, 2004--
David Paterson, New York, 2008-2010

Big City Mayors - First Black Elected Mayors in Cities of 300,000 or More:

Carl Stokes, Cleveland, Ohio, 1967-1971
Kenneth Gibson, Newark, New Jersey, 1970-1986
Thomas Bradley, Los Angeles, 1973-1993
Coleman Young, Detroit, Michigan, 1973-1993
Maynard Jackson, Atlanta, Georgia, 1973-1982, 1990-1994 
Walter Washington, Washington, D.C., 1975-1979*
Lionel J. Wilson, Oakland California, 1978-1990
Ernest Nathan Morial, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1978-1986
Richard Arrington, Jr., Birmingham, Alabama, 1979-1999
Harold Washington, Chicago, 1983-1987 
Harvey Gantt, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1983-1987
Wilson Goode, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1984-1992
Kurt Schmoke, Baltimore, Maryland 1987-1999 
David Dinkins, New York, New York, 1990-1993
Norm Rice, Seattle, Washington, 1989-1997
Sharon Pratt Dixon Kelly, Washington, D.C., 1991-1995** 
Willie W. Herenton, Memphis, Tennessee, 1991--2009 
Wellington Webb, Denver, Colorado, 1991-2003 
Emanuel Cleaver, Kansas City, Missouri, 1991-1999
Freeman Bosley, Jr., St. Louis, Missouri, 1993-1997
Ron Kirk, Dallas, Texas, 1993-2001 
Sharon Sayles Belton, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1994-2001|
Willie Brown, San Francisco, California, 1996-2003
Lee P. Brown, Houston, Texas, 1997-2004
Preston A. Daniels, Des Moines, Iowa, 1997-2004
Michael B. Coleman, Columbus, Ohio, 2000-2016
Shirley Clarke Franklin, Atlanta, 2002-2010***
Mark Mallory, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2005-2013
Sheila Ann Dixon, Baltimore, 2007-2010****
Carl Brewer, Wichita, Kansas, 2007-2015
Kevin Johnson, Sacramento, California, 2008-2016 
Melvin Carter, St. Paul, Minnesota 2018-

*Washington was appointed Mayor of Washington, D.C. in 1967 by President Lyndon Johnson. He won the post by popular vote in 1975.

**Kelly was the first female mayor of Washington, D.C.

***Franklin was the first African American woman to become mayor of a Southern U.S. city

****Dixon was the first female mayor of Baltimore

Copyright 2007-2017 - v3.0 NDCHost - California | | Your donations help us to grow. | We welcome your suggestions. | Mission Statement is an independent non-profit corporation 501(c)(3). It has no affiliation with the University of Washington. is supported in part by a grant from Humanities Washington, a state-wide non-profit organization supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the state of Washington, and contributions from individuals and foundations.