History March 10, 2020 at 01:00 pm

These were the first seven African-American representatives in U.S Congress

Ama Nunoo March 10, 2020 at 01:00 pm

March 10, 2020 at 01:00 pm | History

Image result for Jefferson Franklin Long
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Jefferson Franklin Long

Long is noted to have served the shortest term by any African American member. His term of office was just three months nonetheless he goes down in history as the first black Member to speak on the House Floor. He spoke against the Amnesty Bill that saw political rights being restored to former Confederates.

He was born in 1836 to a slave woman and the son of a local white man. Georgia had relatively small freed black population and so after the Civil War, freedmen had to turn to white politicians as leaders after the war.

In 1869, he served on the Republican state committee after travelling the state and organising local Republican branches.

Long was a leader in the Georgia Labor Convention, which organized black agricultural workers to demand increased wages, better jobs, and improved working conditions.

An unusual election was held after a riot ensued causing election inconsistencies. However, Long defeated his opponent Democrat Winburn J. Lawton. He was sworn into office on January 16, 1871.

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