Dean College

  • Black History Month: Government

    Black History Month Blog 3

    Each week in February, we'll celebrate the historical achievements and impacts that prominent African-American figures have made in a variety of industries.

    Read on for this week's feature on the government!

    Barack Obama was elected President of the United States on November 4th, 2008. This made Obama the 44th President of the United States but only the first African American to be elected to the oval office. Additionally, Barack Obama was reelected to office in 2012. Obama was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. He was named Time’s Person of the Year in 2008 and 2012, and received the NME Award for Hero of the Year in 2013.

    Hiram Revels became the first African American senator in 1870 by an overwhelming vote of 48 to 8. Although he only served in the senate for a single year, Revels was memorable for his outspoken opposition of racial segregation and his position in the senate broke ground for African Americans in Congress. After his year with the senate, Revels later became the president of Alcorn College in Mississippi.

    Thurgood Marshall (pictured above) was named as the 96th Supreme Court Justice in 1967, which made him the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. Prior to his time with the Supreme Court, Marshall championed for equality of African Americans, and worked as counsel on one of the most famous cases regarding civil rights, Brown v. Board of Education, in which the Supreme Court ended racial segregation in public schools. During his time on the Supreme Court, Marshall supported rulings that upheld protection of individual rights. He ruled on notable cases such as Roe v. Wade and Furman v. Georgia. Marshall remained on the Supreme Court for 24 years before retiring.

    Shirley Chisholm made history in 1968 when she was appointed as the first African American congresswoman. Initially, Chisholm was assigned to the House Forestry Committee but demanded a reassignment. Eventually, she was reassigned to the Veterans’ Affairs Committee and then the Education and Labor Committee. In 1969, Chisholm became a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus where she worked to bring awareness to minority education and employment opportunities. In 1972, Chisholm continued to make history when she announced her bid to run for the U.S. presidency. Chisholm was the first African American and the second woman to make the bid. 

    Check back on the Dean College Blog webpage for more stories!

Take the next Step