The following lists were developed to answer reference questions often posed by Member offices, researchers, and the general public. Sixty of the 173 African Americans who have served in Congress are current Members—57 in the House and three in the Senate. In total, there have been 163 Black Members of the House of Representatives and eleven Senators. One has served in both chambers.
Senator Hiram Revels of Mississippi and Representative Joseph Rainey of South Carolina became the first African Americans to serve in Congress in 1870. There have been 50 Black women who have served in Congress. The first Black woman elected to Congress, Shirley Chisholm of New York, won election to the House in 1968.