Monday, February 04, 2008

How Many Black Congress Members?

[This info was updated Dec. 21 2012 - How Many Black Members In 113th Congress?

[Dec. 2, 2008 Update: Here's an update to the chart and this post.]

The quick answer appears to be 40 voting members and 2 non-voting members in the House of Representatives and 1 US Senator (Obama.). But I'm not completely sure.

You'd think this would be easy to find on the web. Someone should have a quck number. David D. Kirkpatrick wrote in December 2005

The number of blacks in Congress has grown to 43 from just 13 at the founding of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1969. But although the 2006 election elevated some caucus members to prominence, it did not add to the group's numbers. Its 43 members still make up less than 10 percent of the House and 1 percent of the Senate. By comparison, blacks make up about 13 percent of the population.

and Wikipedia both have tables of all the Black congress members ever. You have to go through the lists and separate out those whose dates of service (for Wikipedia) end in -present or (for Encarta) - . EthnicMajority has 42, but two are non-voting and one is dead.

But the two lists don't match. Wikipedia has five more people than Encarta. The Congressional Black Caucus website lists 43 people in the Black Caucus, but that includes Senator Obama (the only black Senator), two non-voting members (DC and Virgin Islands), and one deceased whose seat apparently won't be filled until the November 2008 election.

Going through the three lists (Encarta, Wikipedia, Black Caucus) I've come up with a total of 40 black voting members members of Congress. (DC and the Virgin Islands each have one non-voting black member. ) It's quite possible I missed one or added one. I'm not sure quite what it means that this number is not readily available. Below is the chart I came up with.

[August 20, 2008 - Stephanie Tubbs Jones suffered an aneurism and passed away today]

1 comment:

  1. There has never been a Native American woman in Congress. Hoping to fix that oversight this November...


Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.