List of first African-American U.S. state legislators

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

African Americans have served in state legislatures, with several interruptions, since Alexander Twilight was elected to the Vermont lower house in 1836. Two states (out of 50) have yet to elect or appoint African-American state legislators, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Nationwide[edit]

first African-American man elected to any state legislature: Mathias de Sousa (1641/1642)
first African-American man to serve as speaker of any state lower house: John R. Lynch (1873)
first African-American woman to serve in any state legislature: Minnie Buckingham Harper (1928, appointed)
first African-American woman elected to any state legislature: Crystal Bird Fauset (1938)
first African-American women elected (rather than appointed) to a state senate in the United States: Cora Brown (1952)
first African-American man elected to any state legislature on the West Coast): William Owen Bush of Washington (1889)
first African-American woman to serve as speaker of any state lower house: Karen Bass (2008)
first African-American woman to serve as speaker of any state upper house: Andrea Stewart-Cousins (2019)
first bicameral state legislature to have both chambers headed simultaneously by African Americans: Peter Groff and Terrance Carroll of Colorado (2009)

Alabama[edit]

first African-American man elected to the Alabama Senate: Benjamin F. Royal (1868)
first African-American woman elected to the Alabama Senate: Sundra Escott-Russell (1990)
first African-American man elected to the Alabama House of Representatives: Jeremiah Haralson (1870)
first African-American woman elected to the Alabama House of Representatives: Yvonne Kennedy (1979)

Alaska[edit]

first African-American woman elected to the Alaska House of Representatives: Blanche McSmith (1959)
first African-American woman elected to the Alaska Senate: Bettye Davis (2000)
first African-American man elected to the Alaska House of Representatives: Willard L. Bowman (1972)
first African-American man elected to the Alaska Senate:David S. Wilson (2017)

Arkansas[edit]

first African-American woman elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives: Irma Hunter Brown (1981)
first African-American man elected to the Arkansas Senate: Jerry Jewell (1972)

Arizona[edit]

first African-American woman elected to the Arizona House of Representatives: Ethel Maynard (1966)
first African-American man elected to the Arizona Senate: Cloves Campbell Sr. (1966)
first African-American man to serve 12 consecutive terms (24 consecutive years) as elected state representative in Arizona House of Representatives: Elishia Leon Thompson Sr.

California[edit]

first African-American man elected to the California State Assembly: Frederick Madison Roberts (1918)
first African-American woman in the California State Assembly: Yvonne Brathwaite Burke (1966)
first African-American man elected to the California Senate: Mervyn Dymally (1967)
first African-American woman elected to the California Senate: Diane E. Watson (1978)
first African-American man elected speaker of the California State Assembly: Willie Lewis Brown, Jr. (1980)
First African-American woman elected Speaker of the California State Assembly: Karen Bass (2008)

Colorado[edit]

first African-American man elected to the Colorado House of Representatives: John T. Gunnell (1881)
first African-American woman elected to the Colorado Senate: Gloria Tanner (1994)
first African-American man elected to the Colorado Senate: George L. Brown (1957)
first African-American Speaker of the House: Terrance Carroll (2009)
first African-American President of the Senate: Peter Groff (2008)

Connecticut[edit]

first African-American man elected to the Connecticut General Assembly: Wilfred X. Johnson (1958)
first African-American woman elected to the Connecticut General Assembly: Margaret Morton (1973)
first African-American man elected to the Connecticut Senate: Boce W. Barlow Jr. (1966)

Delaware[edit]

first African-American man elected to the Delaware House of Representatives: William J. Winchester (1948)
first African-American man elected to the Delaware Senate: Herman Holloway (1963)
first African-American woman elected to the Delaware House of Representatives: Henrietta R. Johnson (1970)
first African-American woman elected to the Delaware Senate: Margaret Rose Henry (1994)

Florida[edit]

First African-American woman elected to the Florida House of Representatives: Gwen Cherry (1970)
first woman in the Senate: Carrie Meek (1980)
First African-American man elected to the House since Reconstruction: Joe Lang Kershaw (1968)
first African-American man elected to the Senate: Arnett E. Girardeau (1982)

Georgia[edit]

first 33 African-American legislators in Georgia: see Original 33 (1868)
first African-American woman elected to the House: Grace Towns Hamilton (1966)
first African-American woman elected to the Georgia Senate: Nadine Thomas (1992)
first African-American man elected to the Georgia Senate since 1874: Leroy Johnson (1963)
first African-American man to serve as majority leader of the state senate: Charles Walker (1996)

Hawaii[edit]

first African-American woman elected to the Hawaii House of Representatives and Hawaii Senate: Charles Campbell (1976; 1978)

Idaho[edit]

first African-American elected to the Idaho House of Representatives: Cherie Buckner-Webb (2010)
first African-American elected to the Idaho Senate: Cherie Buckner-Webb (2012)

Illinois[edit]

first African American elected to the Illinois General Assembly: John W. E. Thomas (1876)
first African-American elected to the Illinois Senate: Adelbert H. Roberts (1924)
first African-American woman elected to the Illinois General Assembly: Floy Clements (1958)
first African-American woman elected to the Illinois Senate: Earlean Collins (1977)

Indiana[edit]

first African-American man elected to the Indiana House of Representatives: James Sidney Hinton (1880)[1][2]
first African-American woman elected to the Indiana House of Representatives: Daisy Riley Lloyd (1964)
first African-American man elected to the Indiana Senate: Robert Brokenburr (1940)
first African-American woman elected to the Indiana Senate: Julia Carson (1977)

Iowa[edit]

first African-American elected to the Iowa Senate: Thomas Mann (1983)
first African-American woman elected to either house of the Iowa Assembly, Iowa House of Representatives: Willie Glanton (1964)

Kansas[edit]

first African-American man elected to the Kansas House of Representatives: Alfred Fairfax (1888)[3]
first African-American woman elected to the Kansas House of Representatives: Barbara Ballard (1993)
first African-American men elected to the Kansas Senate: Curtis McClinton Sr. and George Haley (1960)
first African-American woman elected to the Kansas Senate: Oletha Faust-Goueau (2008)

Kentucky[edit]

first African-American man elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives: Charles W. Anderson (1936)
first African-American woman elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives: Amelia Tucker (1961)
first African-American (and first woman) elected to the Kentucky Senate: Georgia Davis Powers (1968)

Louisiana[edit]

first African-American elected to the Louisiana Senate since Reconstruction: Elbert Guillory (2009)

Maine[edit]

first African-American elected to the Maine Senate: John Jenkins (1996)

Maryland[edit]

first African-American elected to the Maryland Assembly: Mathias de Sousa (1641)
first African-American women elected to the Maryland General Assembly: Verda F. Welcome and Irma George Dixon (1958)

Massachusetts[edit]

first African-American men elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives: Edward G. Walker and Charles L. Mitchell (1866)
first African-American woman elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives: Doris Bunte (1973)
first African-American man elected to the Massachusetts Senate: Bill Owens (1975)

Michigan[edit]

first African-American woman to be elected to the Michigan Legislature: Charline White (1950)
first African-American woman elected to Michigan Senate: Cora Brown (1952)
first African-American man elected to Michigan Senate: Charles A. Roxborough (1930)
first African-American man elected to Michigan House of Representatives: William Webb Ferguson (1893)

Minnesota[edit]

first African-American man elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives: John Francis Wheaton (1898)
first African-American woman elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives: Neva Walker (2001)
first African-American man elected to the Minnesota Senate: B. Robert Lewis (1972)

Mississippi[edit]

first African-American male member of the House: John R. Lynch (1869)
first African-American Speaker of the House: John R. Lynch (1873)
first African-American elected to the state legislature since Reconstruction: Robert G. Clark, Jr. (1967)
first African-American woman to be elected to the House: Alyce Clarke (1985)
first African-American woman to be elected to the Senate: Alice Harden (1988)
first African-American male Senator since Reconstruction: Arthur Tate (1979)

Missouri[edit]

first African-American male member of the House: Walthall M. Moore (1921)
first African-American female member of the House: DeVerne Lee Calloway (1962)
first African-American male member of the Missouri Senate: Ted McNeal (1960)
first African-American female member of the Missouri Senate: Gwen B. Giles (1977)

Montana[edit]

first African-American woman elected to the Montana Legislature: Geraldine W. Travis (1974)[4]

Nebraska[edit]

first African-American man elected to the unicameral Nebraska Legislature: John Adams Jr. (1937)
first African-American woman appointed to the Nebraska Legislature: JoAnn Maxey (1977)
first African-American women elected to the Nebraska Legislature: Tanya Cook and Brenda Council (2009)
first African-American man elected to the former Nebraska House of Representatives: Matthew Ricketts (1893)

Nevada[edit]

first African-American man elected to the Nevada Senate: Joe Neal (1972)
first African-American woman elected to the Nevada Senate: Bernice Mathews (1994)
first African-American man elected to the Nevada Assembly: Woodrow Wilson (1966)
first African-American woman elected to the Nevada Assembly: Dina Neal (2011)

New Hampshire[edit]

first African-American man elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives: Henry B. Richardson (1974)

New Jersey[edit]

first African-American man elected to the New Jersey General Assembly: Walter G. Alexander (1920)
first African-American woman elected to the New Jersey General Assembly: Madaline A. Williams (1957)
first African-American man to serve as Speaker of the General Assembly: Walter G. Alexander (1921)
first African-American man elected as Speaker of the General Assembly: S. Howard Woodson (1974)

New Mexico[edit]

first African-American woman elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives: Sheryl Williams Stapleton (1995)

New York[edit]

first African-American man elected to the New York State Assembly: Edward A. Johnson (1917)
first African-American man elected to the New York State Senate: Julius A. Archibald (1953)
first African-American woman elected to the New York State Assembly: Bessie A. Buchanan (1955)
first African-American woman elected to the New York State Senate: Constance Baker Motley (1964)
first African-American elected Speaker of the New York State Assembly: Carl Heastie[5] (2015)

North Carolina[edit]

first African-American man elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives: Henry Frye (1969)
first African-American woman elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives: Annie Brown Kennedy (1979)
first African-American men elected to the North Carolina Senate: John Winters and Frederick D. Alexander (1974)
first African-American woman to serve in the North Carolina Senate: Jeanne Hopkins Lucas (1993, appointed and re-elected)

Ohio[edit]

first African-American man elected to the Ohio Senate: John Patterson Green (1892)
first African-American man elected to the Ohio House of Representatives: George Washington Williams (1880)
first African-American woman elected to the Ohio House of Representatives: Helen Rankin (1978)
first African-American woman elected to the Ohio Senate: Rhine McLin (1994)

Oklahoma[edit]

first African-American male member of the Oklahoma Senate: E. Melvin Porter (1965)
first African-American female member of the Oklahoma Senate: Maxine Horner (1987)
first African-American male member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives: A. C. Hamlin (1908)
first African-American female member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives: Hannah Diggs Atkins (1968)
first black speaker of the House: T.W. Shannon (2013)

Oregon[edit]

first African-American woman elected to the Oregon House of Representatives: Margaret Carter (1985)
first African-American woman elected to the Oregon Senate: Avel Gordly (1996)
first African-American man elected to the Oregon House of Representatives: Bill McCoy (1972)

Pennsylvania[edit]

first African-American man to be elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives: Harry W. Bass (1911)
first African-American woman to be elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives: Crystal Bird Fauset (1938)
first African-American man to be elected to the Pennsylvania Senate: Herbert Arlene (1967)
first African-American woman to be elected to the Pennsylvania Senate: Roxanne Jones (1985)
first African-American speaker of the House: K. Leroy Irvis (1977)

South Carolina[edit]

first African-American woman elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives: Juanita Goggins (1975)
first African-American man elected to the South Carolina Senate: I. DeQuincey Newman (1983)
first African-American woman elected to the South Carolina Senate: Maggie Wallace Glover (1992)

Tennessee[edit]

first African American elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives: Sampson W. Keeble (1873)
first African-American woman elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives: Dorothy Lavinia Brown (1966)
first African-American men elected to the Tennessee Senate: Avon Williams and J. O. Patterson Jr. (1969)
first African-American woman elected to the Tennessee Senate: Thelma Harper (1991)

Texas[edit]

first African-American men elected to the Texas Senate: George T. Ruby and Matt Gaines (1869)
first African-American men elected to the Texas House of Representatives: 14 men (1869)
first African-American woman elected to the Texas Senate: Barbara Jordan (1966)
first African-American women elected to the Texas House of Representatives: Senfronia Thompson and Eddie Bernice Johnson (1973)

Utah[edit]

first African-American elected to the Utah Senate: Terry Williams (1981)
first African-American woman elected to the Utah Legislature: Sandra Hollins (2015)

Vermont[edit]

first African-American man elected to Vermont House of Representatives: Alexander Twilight (1836)
first African-American woman elected to Vermont House of Representatives: Louvenia Bright (1988)

Virginia[edit]

first African-American man to be elected to the Virginia Senate: Douglas Wilder (1969)
first African-American woman to be elected to the Virginia House of Delegates: Yvonne B. Miller (1984)

Washington[edit]

first African-American man to be elected to the Washington Legislature: William Owen Bush (1889)
first African-American man to be elected to the Washington State Senate: John H. Ryan (1933)[6]
first African-American woman to be appointed to the Washington State Legislature: Marjorie Pitter-King (1965)[7]
first African-American woman elected to the Washington Legislature: Peggy Maxie (1971)
first African-American woman appointed to the Washington State Senate: Rosa Franklin (1993)

Wisconsin[edit]

first African-American man elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly: Lucian H. Palmer (1906)
first African-American woman elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly: Marcia P. Coggs (1977)
first African-American man elected to the Wisconsin Senate: Monroe Swan (1973)
first African-American woman elected to the Wisconsin Senate: Gwen Moore (1993)

West Virginia[edit]

first African-American man to be elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates: Christopher Payne (1886)
first African-American woman to serve in the West Virginia House of Delegates: Minnie Buckingham Harper (appointed) (1928)
first African-American woman to be elected to the West Virginia Senate: Marie Redd (1998)

Wyoming[edit]

first African American elected to the Wyoming Legislature: William Jefferson Hardin (1879)
first African-American woman elected to the Wyoming Legislature: Harriet Elizabeth Byrd (1988)

First speakers and caucus leaders[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gregg, John. "Standing with Black trailblazer James S. Hinton". Indianapolisrecorder.com. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  2. ^ Indiana Black History Public Art Legacy Project Archived 2013-03-16 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Alfred Fairfax: First African American Kansas state legislator". Kansas Historical Society. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  4. ^ Robison, Kenneth (2018-08-15). "Geraldine Washington Travis (1931- )". Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  5. ^ "New York State Assembly - Carl E. Heastie". assembly.state.ny.us. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  6. ^ Kershner, Kate (2011-06-13). "Ryan, John Henry (1865-1943) and Ella (1866-?)". HistoryLink.
  7. ^ "African Americans in the Washington State Legislature". Washington State Library, Office of the Secretary of State.
  8. ^ "Cecil Partee. Memoir" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-09-27.