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Historical Data

Following are nine lists of historical data, compiled for the publication of Black Americans in Congress, 1870–2007. These lists were developed to answer reference questions often posed by Member offices, researchers, and the general public. Forty-three of the 124 African Americans who have served in Congress are current Members—all 43 are Representatives.  In total, there have been 119 black Representatives and five Senators.  No Member has served in both chambers.

Black-American Representatives and Senators by Congress, 1870–Present

This table is based on information drawn from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

Black-American Representatives and Senators by State and Territory, 1870–Present

The table is supplemented by an interactive map of the United States and is based on information drawn from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Names are followed by the year the Representative or Senator first took office.

Black Members’ Committee Assignments (Standing, Joint, Select) in the U.S. House and Senate, 1870–2007 [PDF]

Based on research conducted by the Congressional Research Service and supplemented by information drawn from the House Journal, Congressional Record, and online data available on the Web site of the Office of the Clerk.

Black Americans Who Have Chaired Congressional Committees, 1877–2007 [PDF]

This table is based on information drawn from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

Black-American Chairs of Subcommittees of Standing Committees in the U.S. House and Senate, 1885–2007 [PDF]

This table is based on information drawn from the Congressional Directory, various historical directories, and the United States Code Congressional and Administrative News.

Black Americans in Party Leadership Positions, 1977–Present

A listing of individuals in elected caucus and conference positions based on research conducted by the Congressional Research Service.

Congressional Black Caucus Chairmen and Chairwomen, 1971–Present

Based on information supplied by the Congressional Black Caucus.

Black-American Familial Connections in Congress

A historical list of black Representatives (no Black-American Senators have been related to another Member of Congress) who had a family member who served in the House.

Constitutional Amendments and Major Civil Rights Acts of Congress Referenced on This Web site

A list of major civil rights acts affecting African Americans from the Civil War to the present. Synopses of legislation and constitutional amendments are supplemented by Congress information, bill numbers from the originating chambers, and statute and public law citations.