List of African-American United States Senators
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral United States Congress, which is the legislative branch of the federal government of the United States. Eight African Americans have served in the United States Senate. No African American served in the elective office before the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1870, which prohibits the federal government and state governments from denying any citizen the right to vote because of that citizen's race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Of the eight senators, three were popularly elected, two were elected by the Mississippi State Senate, and three were appointed by a state Governor. The 113th United States Congress marks the first time that two African Americans have served concurrently in the Senate.
The first two African-American senators represented the state of Mississippi during the Reconstruction Era, following the American Civil War. Hiram Rhodes Revels, the first African American to serve, was elected by the Mississippi State Senate to succeed Albert G. Brown, who resigned during the Civil War. Members of the United States Senate opposed his being seated based on the Dred Scott Decision, claiming that Revels did not meet the citizenship requirement, until it was clarified that the Dred Scott Decision was overturned by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. The Mississippi State Senate then elected Blanche Bruce in 1875, but Republicans lost power of the Mississippi State Senate, and Bruce was not elected to a second term in 1881.
The next African-American United States Senator, Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, took office in 1967, the first to be elected by popular vote, rather than election of the state legislature. Carol Moseley Braun and Barack Obama were both elected by the voters of Illinois, entering the Senate in 1993 and 2004, respectively. While serving in the Senate, Obama became the first African American to be elected President of the United States, and Roland Burris, also an African American, was appointed to fill the remainder of his term. The next two African American Senators, Tim Scott of South Carolina and Mo Cowan of Massachusetts, were both appointed by their state's governors to fill the terms of Jim DeMint and John Kerry, respectively, who had resigned their positions. Barack Obama remains the most recent African American to be elected to the Senate.
As of 2012[update], there had been 1,931 members of the United States Senate, but only six were African-American. Sheila Jackson Lee, an African-American member of the United States House of Representatives, said "I frankly think it's a shame, and I think it is reflective of America sometimes still idling in the past." While 58 nationwide organizations existed to elect female candidates to the United States Congress As of 2012[update], including EMILY's List and the Susan B. Anthony List, no such organization exists to elect African-American candidates. Also, many African-American members of the House of Representatives sit in majority-minority districts that have been gerrymandered to the point where they do not face serious challenges to their re-election, which they would not experience if they ran a state-wide campaign, and limits their abilities to represent a larger, more diverse constituency.
List of African-American U.S. Senators 
|Image||Senator||State||Took office||Left office||Party||Ref(s)||Note(s)|
|Hiram Rhodes Revels
|Mississippi||February 23, 1870||March 3, 1871||Republican|||
|Mississippi||March 4, 1875||March 4, 1881||Republican||||[note 1]|
|Massachusetts||January 3, 1967||January 3, 1979||Republican||||[note 2]|
|Carol Moseley Braun
|Illinois||January 3, 1993||January 3, 1999||Democratic||||[note 3]|
|Illinois||January 3, 2005||November 16, 2008||Democratic||||[note 4]|
|Illinois||January 15, 2009||November 29, 2010||Democratic||||[note 5]
|South Carolina||January 2, 2013||Incumbent||Republican||||[note 5]|
|Massachusetts||February 1, 2013||Incumbent||Democratic||||[note 7]
- First African American to serve a full six-year term as senator and the only senator to be a former slave.
- First African American to be popularly elected, the first to be re-elected, and the first to be elected outside of the Southern states.
- First female African American and the first African American Democrat to serve in the Senate.
- First African American President of the United States.
- Appointed by state's Governor to fill vacancy.
- First African American to succeed another African American.
- First African American Senator appointed by an African American Governor (Deval Patrick).
See also 
- African Americans in the United States Congress
- Congressional Black Caucus
- List of African-American U.S. state firsts
- List of first African-American mayors
- Wiersema, Alisa (February 1, 2013). "Reconstruction and Beyond: The 8 African-American Senators". ABC News. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- Weigel, David (January 30, 2013). "For the First Time Ever, We'll Have Two Black Senators Serving at the Same Time". Slate Magazine. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
- "Obama, Barack, (1961 – )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. United States Congress. Retrieved January 25, 2009.
- "Burris, Roland, (1937 – )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. United States Congress. Retrieved January 25, 2009.
- Desjardins, Lisa (April 4, 2012). "No African-American senators likely in near future". CNN.com. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- Terkel, Amanda (September 27, 2012). "Senate Likely To Remain Without Black Members For Years". Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- "Revels, Hiram Rhodes, (1827–1901)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. United States Congress. Retrieved January 25, 2009.
- "Breaking New Ground – African American Senators". United States Senate. 2008. Retrieved January 25, 2009.
- "Bruce, Blanche Kelso, (1841–1898)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. United States Congress. Retrieved January 25, 2009.
- "Former Slave Presides over Senate". Historical Minutes Essays, 1878–1920. Senate Historical Office, The United States Senate. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
- "Brooke, Edward William, III, (1919 – )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. United States Congress. Retrieved January 25, 2009.
- "Mosley Braun, Carol, (1947 – )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. United States Congress. Retrieved January 25, 2009.
- "Carol Moseley Braun". Art & History Home. Senate Historical Office, The United States Senate. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
- "Barack Obama". Art & History Home. Senate Historical Office, The United States Senate. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
- Blake, Aaron; Cillizza, Chris (December 17, 2012). "Nikki Haley appoints Rep. Tim Scott to Senate". Washington Post. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
- Phillips, Frank (January 30, 2013). "William ‘Mo’ Cowan is Governor Deval Patrick’s pick to serve as interim US senator". Boston Globe. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
- Black Americans in Congress, 1870–2007 A C-SPAN video with Matt Wasniewski as the presenter. He discusses the history of African Americans in Congress since 1870 (164 minute in length).
- African American Members of the United States Congress: 1870–2012 A 66 page history produced by the Congressional Research Service.
- Black Americans in Congress, Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives
- Major African American Office Holders Since 1641 Includes a listing for the United States Senate. Maintained by Blackpast.org.