DCPolitics

America’s Black Senators

WHO PRECEDED TIM SCOTT? S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s selection of Tim Scott to fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jim DeMint made history.  With Haley’s appointment, Scott becomes the first black U.S. Senator in South Carolina history – and only the seventh black Senator in the history of…

WHO PRECEDED TIM SCOTT?

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s selection of Tim Scott to fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jim DeMint made history.  With Haley’s appointment, Scott becomes the first black U.S. Senator in South Carolina history – and only the seventh black Senator in the history of our nation.

Scott also becomes the odds-on favorite to win a special election for this seat in 2014 – in which case he would become the first African-American ever elected to the U.S. Senate from the South (and only the fourth popularly elected African-American Senator in U.S. history).

Courtesy of the U.S. Senate, here are the six Senators who preceded Scott …

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HIRAM REVELS

Hiram Revels of Mississippi became the first African American senator in 1870.  Born in North Carolina in 1827, Revels attended Knox College in Illinois and later served as minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland.  He raised two black regiments during the Civil War and fought at the battle of Vicksburg in Mississippi.  The Mississippi state legislature sent him to the U.S. Senate during Reconstruction where he became an outspoken opponent of racial segregation.  Although Revels served in the Senate for just a year, he broke new ground for African Americans in Congress.  (Photo: Library of Congress)

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BLANCHE K. BRUCE

Born into slavery in 1841, Blanche K. Bruce spent his childhood years in Virginia where he received his earliest education from the tutor hired to teach his master’s son.  At the dawn of the Civil War, Bruce escaped slavery and traveled north to  begin a distinguished career in education and politics. Elected to the Senate in 1874 by the Mississippi state legislature, he served from 1875 to 1881. In 2002, the Senate commissioned a new portrait of Bruce, now on display in the U.S. Capitol.  (Photo: Library of Congress)

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EDWARD BROOKE

The first African American elected to the Senate by popular vote, Edward Brooke of Massachusetts served two full terms, from 1967 to 1979. Born in Washington, D.C. in 1919, Brooke graduated from Howard University before serving in the United States Army during World War II.  After the war, he received a law degree from Boston University. During his Senate career he championed the causes of low-income housing and an increased minimum wage, and promoted commuter rail and mass transit systems. He also worked tirelessly to promote racial equality in the South.  (Photo: Senate Historical Office)

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CAROL MOSELEY-BRAUN

Some called 1992 the “Year of the Woman.” More women than ever before were elected to political office in November of that year, and five of them came to the U.S. Senate.  Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois not only joined that class on January 3, 1993, but also became the first African American woman ever to serve as U.S. Senator.  During her Senate career, Moseley Braun sponsored progressive education bills and campaigned for gun control. Moseley Braun left the Senate in January of 1999, and soon after became the U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, a position she held until 2001. Moseley Braun ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 2004. (Photo: Senate Historical Office)

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BARACK OBAMA

Elected to the United States Senate in November of 2004, he took the oath of office and became the fifth African American to serve in the Senate on January 3, 2005. On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama was elected as the 44th President of the United States.

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ROLAND BURRIS 

Born in Centralia, Illinois, on August 3, 1937, Roland Burris earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a Juris Doctor degree from Howard University. After finishing law school in 1963, Burris became the first African American to work as a national bank examiner for the Treasury Department. When Burris was elected comptroller of Illinois in 1978, he was the first African American to win a statewide election in Illinois. After serving more than ten years as comptroller, he became attorney general of Illinois. Appointed to the Senate on December 31, 2008, Burris filled the vacancy caused by the resignation of Barack Obama.

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28 comments

T-bot 5000 December 17, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Obama is mentioned in this article. I hate him with the fire of 100003.14159 suns. I scream with the voice of 4463.14159 thunders.

Cast Lightning Lvl 1,000,000 Your body explodes into a fine bloody mist…

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? December 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Good job with the avatar T-bot. I guess AI is coming along a little faster than I thought.

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T-bot 5000 December 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm

I’m a work in progress…

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Guero December 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Our first houseboy US Senator….

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La Migra December 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm

lmao @ Guero the latino calling Scott a “houseboy”.

The irony is so rich!

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jimlewis,owb December 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Scott also becomes the odds-on favorite to win a special election for this seat in 2014″

Not so fast there LaRoy

Apparently you have mixed your marijuana leaves in with your tea leaves

First, he was appointed to his position by a bat shit crazy Gypsy Queen Governor who could not resist playing the minority card when introducing him

Second, he has aligned himself with the biggest Cockroach to ever come out of Charleston

Third, he was a one and done State Legislator

Fourth, he was a one and done US Congressman

Fifth, when he realized he could not get any statewide support for his bid to become Lt. Governor he dropped out for Henry Brown’s vacancy

Sixth, he is from the Holy City and if there is one thing upstate Republicans like to crush under their heels is a fucking Holier than thou Cockroach from Charleston

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Smirks December 17, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Fourth, he was a one and done US Congressman

He did win his reelection, although he’s going to be out of his seat before his first term fully ends.

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CL December 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm

They keep repeating the line about Scott being the first from the South since Reconstruction, but there have been so few in that time frame(only 5 total) that the geographic limitation seems a bit misleading. Post-Reconstruction, the only states to elect black senators are Illinois (with 3 and claiming the only Democrats on the list), Massachusetts and now SC.

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Lance Riprock December 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm

SC didn’t “elect” him, CL. The Slut Guv made a politically motivated appointment. Try to keep up. But, really, is Tim Scott the best we can do out of four million citizens? I don’t know how many of the four mil are eligible, but for Heavens’ sake, this is a bad joke.

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CL December 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Lance,

If we are policing semantics, then the 1st two were not really “elected” in the same sense as the others since they predate the 17th amendment. They were appointed by the legislature (kind of like Scott was appointed by the governor).

If you are a Democrat in SC, it is hard to call Tim Scott a joke when your party actually presented Alvin Greene. But of course you need to delegitimize Scott because he puts the lie to the liberal caricature of the Republican Party. And LOL on criticizing a politician for making a “politically motivated appointment” to a political office.

But I would say Scott was one of the 5 or so best candidates for the position given that your pool of candidates are other politicians in SC.

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Lance Riprock December 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm

It’s a little more than semantics, CL. There is a bill in the legislature that would take away the Guv’s right to appoint. Many are in favor of a special election. Big difference between election and appointment; I just don’t know how to get through to you. I’m no Dem, I seldom vote. My native state has been taken over by sleazy morons, but you wouldn’t understand with your inability to make meaningful distinctions among words and ideas.

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CL December 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Given that the distinction between elected by and represented by is irrelevant to the point I was making about the shockingly low number of black senators from any state since Reconstruction(actually, limiting it to elected senators actually highlights my point by reducing the number down to 3) it is the very definition of semantics. But I will happily amend my post to represented by since it changes nothing about my actual point.

I would ask what basis you have to call Tim Scott unqualified or a sleazy moron (which your last post seems to imply), since you seem to not be able to recognize assertion dressed up as fact.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein December 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm

If you are a Democrat in SC, it is hard to call Tim Scott a joke when your party actually presented Alvin Greene.

FTW!

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Lance Riprock December 17, 2012 at 6:11 pm

CL, if I assert it, it IS a fact. You can take it to the bank. I’m often wrong, but never in doubt. That said, the burden is on someone other than me to justify the appointment of this twerp to be a U.S. Senator. What job has he had other than politics (and that strains the definition of a job)?

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CL December 18, 2012 at 8:11 am

He was an insurance agent, as I understand it. That may not be as impressive as community organizer, but it certainly is not an unusual career for someone wanting to go into politics.

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CL December 18, 2012 at 8:12 am

As to the burden, you leveled the charge so you carry the burden of proof.

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Lance Riprock December 18, 2012 at 9:27 am

Naw, CL, the Slut Guv opened the door by appointing the dork, justifying the appointment with mindless tea bag platitudes; besides, all Repubs are sleazy morons, Scott is a Repub, therefore Scott is a sleazy moron. It’s Logic 101. There’s your burden; now, sit on it. (Thanks, Fonz.)

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CL December 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Clearly you are a middle of the road independent, given that you display the lazy thinking and ad hominem as argument attitude of so many lefties these days.

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Lance Riprock December 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Talk about lazy thinking, you started the whole pissin contest by saying the little cocksucker was “elected”. In the interest of accuracy and honesty, I pointed out that nothing of the kind occurred. So, eat shit and die, bitch.

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cl December 18, 2012 at 7:31 pm

While we are picking nits, you misspelled pissing. And you claimed Scott was unqualified and sleazy, yet offer no evidence. So in the interest of accuracy and honesty, I pointed out how full of it you are. But I probably could have refrained, as you do a good enough job of discrediting yourself without any intervention.

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commonman December 17, 2012 at 5:15 pm

I agree with Jim Lewis. Rhetoric and a pretty smile will not suffice to get him elected on his own. Although Haley did ride those same attributes to the State House and the Mansion. Where have all of our leaders gone? Strom, Fritz, Lindsey and now Tim in the US Senate. We are in a whole lot of trouble.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein December 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm

To paraphrase Rick James, bitch:

Incumbency …is a POWERFUL thing…

How else do you explain Miss Lindsey’s reelection?

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Darth December 17, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I consider that the first three were Republicans from the time that teh KKK was out of the closet as an arm of the Democrats… time for teh next three to be from the GOP. Allan West for Senate!

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Howard Johnson December 17, 2012 at 5:45 pm

The sherrif is near!

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TontoBubbaGoldstein December 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm

“Excuuuuse me, while I whip this out…..”

ROTFLMAO

+1

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vicupstate December 18, 2012 at 8:18 am

Where seniority matters is in committee assignments.

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Pot Smoker December 18, 2012 at 9:03 am

Everyone take a long drag and chill!

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darksied calling December 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Tim Scott’s appointment as a US senator is the political equivalent of affirmative action for minorities. Ben Tillman is spinning in his grave at the idea of Tim Scott representing this state.

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