By Matthew Wasniewski, Office of History and Preservation House (U.S.)
Black american citizens in Congress, 1870–2007, is a finished historical past of the greater than one hundred twenty African american citizens who've served within the usa Congress. Written for a basic viewers, this booklet encompasses a profile of every African-American Member, together with notables resembling Hiram Revels, Joseph Rainey, Oscar De Priest, Adam Clayton Powell, Shirley Chisholm, Gus Hawkins, and Barbara Jordan. person profiles are brought by way of contextual essays that specify significant occasions in congressional and U.S. history. the quantity additionally positive factors: Pictures—including infrequently visible historic images—of every one African American who has served in Congress Bibliographies and references to manuscript collections for every Member Statistical graphs and charts Index
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Additional info for Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007
Those who were the sons of their white masters or of prominent local white men especially benefited from being light-skinned, both within and outside of the bonds of slavery. Four Reconstruction-Era black Members were likely the offspring of their former slaveowners. Relative to communities of slaves, free black communities in the antebellum Lower South were small, urban, economically independent, and overwhelmingly of mixed race. These communities developed from the private manumission of favored personal servants or a slaveowner’s offspring, as well as free black immigrants during the colonial period.
Many of these Northerners carried their belongings in carpetbags. This term is also used by observers of current political affairs to describe a person who interferes with the politics of a locality to which he or she has no permanent or genuine connection. Referencing the trend of northerners moving to southern states to run for elective office, Harper’s Weekly illustrated the “carpet bagger” in another drawing by RadicalRepublican-sympathizing cartoonist Thomas Nast, its November 9, 1872, issue.
36 The relationship between black and white Republicans was the “progeny of a simple quid pro quo,” explains one scholar. “Republicans wanted southern black votes to secure their burgeoning political dominance, and, in exchange . . African Americans wanted protection from discrimination . . ”37 African Americans eventually expressed a hope that the freedmen constituency would have a choice in party loyalty in the future. Representative John Lynch noted on the House Floor, “I want to see the day come when the colored people of this county can afford to occupy an independent position in politics.