Black History Month: African-American Political Firsts

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John Willis Menard

John Willis Menard of Louisiana was the first African-American to be elected to the U.S. Congress. But after winning the seat in 1868, his election was contested by Rep. James A. Garfield, who claimed it was “too early to admit a Negro” to the chamber.

 

(Photo: Courtesy Wikicommons)

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