Hiram Rhodes Revels: The First Black Congressman

By Karen Harris
Hiram Revels, an African-American senator from Mississippi, taking oath of office in Washington. (Getty Images)

This Black History Month, we'd be remiss to overlook incredible life of Hiram Rhodes Revels, who was sworn into the U.S. Senate on February 25, 1870, just five years after the end of the Civil War. Revels was truly a man ahead of his time: He was not only America's first African-American congressman but also a Methodist minister, college administrator, and a chaplain for the United States Colored Troops fighting in the Civil War. Just how did Revels break Congress's color barrier? To answer that question, we must take another look at America's Reconstruction era