First African-American Senator and Representatives

This group portrait shows the first African-American congressmen to serve in the United States Congress. During Reconstruction, Republicans gained the upper hand in Georgia politics, and African Americans served in Congress at both the state and national level. Thirty-two African Americans were elected to the Georgia Assembly in 1868. Standing in the back on the right side is Jefferson Long, Georgia’s first African-American senator. At Reconstruction’s end, Democrats gained control of political power and an African American would not represent Georgia in Congress again until Andrew Young in 1972.

Photograph of the first black senator and representatives from Georgia
“The first colored senator and representatives – in the 41st and 42nd Congress of the United States.” From the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. PGA – Currier & Ives

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