African American Members of the United States Congress: 1870-2009 [February 2, 2010] [open pdf - 416KB]
"There are 42 African American Members serving in the 111th Congress, 41 in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate. President Barack Obama served in the Senate until he resigned on November 16, 2008. There have been 125 African American Members of Congress: 119 have been elected to the House; five have been elected to the Senate; and one has been appointed to the Senate. There have been 98 Democrats: 95 in the House, three in the Senate; and 27 Republicans: 24 in the House, three in the Senate. The number of African American Members has steadily increased since the first African Americans entered Congress in 1870. There were fewer than 10 Members until the 91st Congress (1969-1971). In the 98th Congress (1983-1985), the number surpassed 20 for the first time and then jumped to 40 in the 103rd Congress (1993-1995). Since the 106th Congress (1999-2001), the number has remained between 39 and 43 serving at any one time. [...] Twenty African Americans have served as committee chairs, 19 in the House and one in the Senate. The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), whose origins date back to 1969, currently has 42 members. Over its 40-year history, the CBC has been one of the most influential caucuses in Congress. This report will be updated as needed."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30378
U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://fpc.state.gov/