“Politics with me is a full- time business, it is not a hobby to be worked on in leisure hours, it’s a job – a full-time job that pays off only if a man is willing to apply the energy, start from scratch and profit from his experience.”

William Dawson

William Levi Dawson was born on this date in 1886 in Albany, Georgia. He was the first African American to chair a regular House of Representatives committee. Three years after he graduated magna cum laude from Fisk University in Tennessee (1912), Dawson moved to Chicago to study law at Northwestern University; once finished, he entered into local politics.

In 1942, after serving as alderman on the Chicago City Council, Dawson successfully ran for Congress, holding his seat until retiring in 1970.

The Akosua Report: Facts on The African Diaspora, is written by Akosua Lowery. Follow her on Twitter @AkosuaLowery.

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