From Our ArchivesHakeem Jeffries, After the Impeachment:
Jeffries' Historic Attainment in Context
During Reconstruction I, In 1870, Senator Hiram Revels of Mississippi and Rep. Joseph Rainey of South Carolina became the first African Americans to serve in Congress, After North Carolina Rep. George White's departure from the House of Representatives in March 1901, no African American served in the U.S. Congress until 1929 when Oscar DePriest was elected to represent Chicago’s South Side. During his three terms, DePriest was the only African American serving in Congress.
During Reconstruction II, The Congressional Black Congress was formed in 1971 with 13 members and included the first female Black member, Shirley Chisholm.
During Reconstruction III, Republicans have more members in the current Congress than Democrats, 222 to 213. The Democrat’s leader, Rep. Hakeem Sekou Jeffries, is therefore, the House minority leader. Jeffries is the first Black to lead a major political party in Congress.
He follows Nancy D'Alesandro Pelosi, who was the first woman to lead a major political party in Congress. While Democrats were in the majority in Congress, she was known as the Speaker of the House and assumed its power.
If Democrats win control of the House in the 2024 elections and Biden-Harris are re-elected, Harris will retain her position as second in line to the presidency and Jeffries will be third.