HISTORICALLY BLACK: HIRAM REVELS

Posted: February 15, 2011 by Jay Rasean in Kasual
Hiram R. Revels
( September 1, 1822 – January 16, 1901)

An African-American Minister and Educator, Hiram Revels made history when he became the first black citizen to be elected to the U.S. Senate, from 1870-1871, representing Mississippi. Revels seat in the senate wasn’t easily accessed–he faced much disapproval. There were many claims that Revels was not a U.S citizen because African-Americans were not considered citizens until 1868 (due to the 14th Ammendent ) just two years prior to the election. At the time, in order be a U.S Senator one has to have been a citizen for 9 years, and because African-Americans recently gained their citizenship, they believed Revels could not be appointed. Despite these convictions, Revels was revealed to be of mixed race, which was sustainable as an adequate argument–Revels prevailed and made history.

As a senator, Revels was a dedicated advocate of racial equality, constantly striving to widen recognition of the capability of African-Americans. Revels himself was quite the example of the capable African-American. Praised for his eloquence, and for being extremely vocal, he was well received throughout the duration of his 1 year term as senator. Two months before the expiration of his term, he resigned and took a job as the President of of Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College, now known as Alcorn State.

To date, Revels is 1 of only 6 African-Americans to hold a seat in the U.S Senate–1 of those 6 is now our President. In nearly 150 years, we’ve had only 6 African-American Senators! Now that’s something to dwell on. Hiram Revels, a prominent member of society and member of an exclusive 6 person club of African-American Senators. Revels is inspirational, and yet another reason why black history should be celebrated year ’round(K*W)

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