November Firsts: African-Americans Who Broke Barriers in Politics

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  • Colin Powell named White House National Security Adviser
  • Condoleezza Rice nominated to U.S. Department of State
  • Carol Moseley-Braun elected first Black female U.S. Senator
  • Louis Stokes elected first African-American elected congressman of Ohio
  • Mervyn M. Dymally elected first Black person to hold statewide office
  • Eva M. Clayton elected North Carolina's first Black congresswoman
  • George L. Brown elected first Black lieutenant governor of Colorado
  • L. Douglas Wilder elected the first elected Black governor of Virginia,
  • Edward William Brooke III elected the first African-American from Massachusetts
  • Julia May Carson elected Indiana's first Black congresswoman
  • Yvonne Brathwaite Burke was first Black female from California elected to the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Charles Coles Diggs Jr. elected Michigan's first Black congressman
  • Roland Burris elected Illinois' first Black comptroller
  • Barack Obama elected first Black president of the United States
  • Shirley Chisholm becomes the first Black woman elected to Congress

Carol Moseley-Braun

Elected in 1993, Carol Moseley-Braun became the first Black female U.S. senator, representing the state of Illinois until 1999. In her single term in office, she was also the first Black woman to serve on the finance committee and advocated new legislation on crime, education and civil rights. 

(Photo: BRIAN BAHR/AFP/Getty Images)

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