This Day in Black History: Nov. 7, 1972

Barbara Jordan and Andrew Young become first African-Americans elected to Congress from the South since Reconstruction.

Posted: 11/07/2013 12:15 AM EST

It had been in the late 1880s since African-Americans had last served in the U.S. House of Representatives from the South. But that changed on Nov. 7, 1972, when Andrew Young was elected to represent a congressional district in Georgia and Barbara Jordan was elected to Congress by voters in Texas.

Both Jordan and Young had distinguished histories in their respective states. Young was widely known as a lieutenant to Martin Luther King Jr. and a prominent player in the civil rights movement. He represented a district that included parts of Atlanta until 1977, when he was named by President Jimmy Carter as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. He later served as mayor of Atlanta.

Jordan had been a member of the Texas State Senate, representing portions of Houston. She was the first African-American elected to the Texas Senate since Reconstruction and became the first Black woman elected to Congress from the South. She was also the first Black woman to deliver the keynote address at a Democratic National Convention.

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(Photos from left: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images, Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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