Friday, November 03, 2006

‘First Black Senator Since Reconstruction….’ Please explain!

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Blanche K. Bruce, U.S. Senator


The statement, “If Harold Ford wins, he would become the first Black Senator elected in the south since Reconstruction,” is starting to get on my nerves. Why? Because no news outlet, as far as I’ve read or heard, has discussed who these Black Senators were!

Here are some interesting facts:

The first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate was Hiram Rhoades Revels, a Mississippi state senator who was selected to fill a seat in 1870, which Jefferson Davis vacated to become the president of the Confederate States.

But the Black Senator credited with serving a full Senate term was Blanche K. Bruce, another Mississippi resident who was elected in 1874. The African American Registry reports that Bruce advocated the fair treatment of African Americans and Native Americans. He also sought to expose fraud and corruption in federal elections. Bruce, who served as a Senator from 1875–1881, lost his seat when Reconstruction ended in Mississippi. He then was appointed register of the Treasury and went on to become a Howard University trustee.

Edward W. Brooke of Massachusetts was the next African-American to serve in the Senate when he was elected in 1966. Let’s share this news with one friend and then they can pass it on to others!


Will Harold Ford, Jr. become the first Black Senator elected in the South since Reconstruction? I predict that he will.