Sunday, April 14, 2013

Did You Notice There Are Now Two African American US Senators?

For the first time in US history, there are two African-American members of the US Senate at the same time.  These are only the seventh and eighth African-Americans ever to serve in the US Senate. 

Tim Scott (R-NC) was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley to Jim Dement's seat when he quit to run the Heritage Foundation.  He'll serve until a special election in 2014 to fill the remainder of Dement's term. 

William 'Mo' Cowan (D-Mass) was appointed by Gov. Deval Patrick as Interim Senator until the June 15, 2013 election to fill the remainder of the term of John Kerry, who recently resigned to become Secretary of State. 

I try to keep up with these details since I first posted about the number of African-Americans in Congress.  I couldn't find the information conveniently formatted, so I made it myself.  Since then I've tried to keep it up-to-date after elections or other changes.  The last post was after the November 2012 elections  which I updated just now to incorporate this information.

This makes 43 black Members of the 435 seat US Congress or a smidgen under 10%, while as a whole African-Americans make up 14% of the US population.  In the 100 seat US Senate, they make up 2%. 

In the House, Robin Kelly won the special election to finish out the term of Illinois Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. who resigned. 

If you read carefully, you should have noticed that both the Black US Senators were appointed by their respective governors, not by the voters of their states, though Massachusetts has elected a Black Senator before: Edward Brooke.


  1. Matanzas, thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. You seem to have gotten the impression I thought this was a negative development. The only thing negative I see is that there is so little diversity in the Senate. I try to write things like this as objectively as possible, just offering the facts. If you can point out to something I wrote that caused you to think it was negative, I'd appreciate your telling me.


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