World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

List of African-American U.S. state firsts

Article Id: WHEBN0020267921
Reproduction Date:

Title: List of African-American U.S. state firsts  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: African-American history, African-American culture, Black Power, List of African-American firsts, African American–Jewish relations
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

List of African-American U.S. state firsts

African Americans are a demographic minority in the United States. African-Americans' initial achievements in various fields historically establish a foothold, providing a precedent for more widespread cultural change. The shorthand phrase for this is "breaking the color barrier."[1][2]

In addition to major, national- and international-level firsts, African-Americans have achieved firsts on a statewide basis.

19th century

  • 1868
First elected African-American lieutenant governor: Oscar Dunn, Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana
  • 1870
May: First African-American acting governor: Oscar James Dunn of Louisiana from May till August 9, 1871, when sitting Governor Warmoth was incapacitated and chose to recuperate in Mississippi. (See also: Douglas Wilder, 1990)
  • 1872
First African-American governor of Louisiana: P. B. S. Pinchback (Also first in U.S.) (Non-elected; see also Douglas Wilder, 1990)
  • 1880
First African American elected to the Indiana general assembly: James Sidney Hinton.[3][4]

20th century

  • 1918
First African American elected to political office on the West Coast: Frederick Madison Roberts, California State Assembly
  • 1930
First African Americans elected as judges in the state of New York: James S. Watson and Charles E. Toney
  • 1962
First African-American attorney general of Massachusetts: Edward Brooke. Also first African American to hold Massachusetts statewide office, and first African-American attorney general of any state.
  • 1966
First African American woman Texas state senator: Barbara Jordan
First African American appointed to New York State Board of Regents: Kenneth Bancroft Clark
First African American senator from Massachusetts: Edward Brooke. (Also first post-Reconstruction African American elected to the U.S. Senate and first African American elected to the U.S. Senate by popular vote).
  • 1967
First African-American woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar: Marian Wright Edelman
  • 1969
First African American elected mayor of a Mississippi city since Reconstruction: Charles Evers, in Fayette, Mississippi[5]
  • 1979
First African American elected to a statewide office in Illinois: Roland Burris, office of Comptroller
First African American elected to a statewide office in Wisconsin: Vel Phillips, office of Secretary of State
  • 1980
First African-American speaker of the California State Assembly: Willie Lewis Brown, Jr.
  • 1984
First African American elected to a statewide office in Supreme Court of Georgia
  • 1990
First African-American governor of Virginia: Douglas Wilder (Also first elected governor in US; see also P. B. S. Pinchback, 1872)
  • 1992
First African-American elected to a statewide office in Indiana: Pamela Carter, office of Attorney General
First African-American Minnesota Supreme Court justice: Alan Page
  • 1993
First African American senator from Illinois: Carol Moseley Braun. (Also first and only African-American woman elected to the United States Senate, the first African-American U.S. Senator for the Democratic Party, the first woman to defeat an incumbent U.S. Senator in an election, and the first and only female Senator from Illinois).
  • 1998
First African-American woman elected State Treasurer and first African-American woman elected statewide in Connecticut: Denise Nappier[6]
First African American elected to office of Thurbert E. Baker,

21st century

  • 2002
First African-American lieutenant governor of Maryland and first elected to statewide office in Maryland: Michael Steele (See also: 2009)
  • 2004
First African-American Oklahoma Supreme Court justice: Tom Colbert
First African-American Wisconsin Supreme Court justice: Louis B. Butler
First African-American Auditor of Accounts of Vermont and first elected to statewide office in Vermont: Randy Brock
  • 2006
First African American elected governor of Massachusetts: Deval Patrick
First African-American lieutenant governor of New York: David Paterson
  • 2008
First African-American woman elected Speaker of the California State Assembly: Karen Bass
First African-American governor of New York State: David Paterson (elected as lieutenant governor, succeeded on resignation of previous governor)
  • 2009
First bicameral state legislature to have both chambers headed simultaneously by African Americans: Peter Groff and Terrance Carroll of Colorado.
  • 2010
First African-American attorney general of California: Kamala Harris
First African-American Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court: Roderick L. Ireland
  • 2013
First African-American senator from South Carolina: Tim Scott[7]
  • 2012
First African-American to be elected and serve as Worshipful Master of an Ancient, Free, and Accepted Masonic Lodge in the United States of America. United States: Gerald F. Poe Jr.

He was installed on January 1, 2012 as Worshipful Master of Patuxent Lodge No. 218 of Maryland, under the Authority of the Grand Lodge of Maryland.

  • 2013
  • First African-American senator for South Carolina: Tim Scott [8]

See also


  1. ^ Juguo, Zhang. W. E. B. Du Bois: The Quest for the Abolition of the Color Line, Routledge, 2001 - ISBN 0-415-93087-1
  2. ^ Herbst, Philip H. The Color of Words: an encyclopaedic dictionary of ethnic bias in the United States, Intercultural Press, p. 57, 1997 - ISBN 1-877864-97-8
  3. ^ Standing with Black trailblazer James S. Hinton
  4. ^ Indiana Black History Public Art Legacy Project
  5. ^ Dark Journey: Black Mississippians in the Age of Jim CrowNeil R. McMillen, , Chicago: University of Illinois, 1990, p.26
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Tim Scott's swearing-in as senator caps his historic rise". McClatchy Newspapers. January 4, 2013. Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  8. ^
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.