written by Akosua Lowery 

In 1870, Hiram R. Revels (R-Miss.), became the first black member of the United States Senate as he was sworn in to serve out the unexpired term of Jefferson Davis.

Born on September 27, 1827, Hiram R. Revels became the first African-American U.S. senator—as well as the first African-American congressman—in 1870, representing Mississippi. Before taking office, Revels attended seminary and became a Christian minister, preaching throughout the Midwest and South. In his later years, he was appointed first president of the Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College.

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

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