BLACK VOICES
02/25/2013 04:51 pm ET Updated Feb 25, 2013

Hiram R. Revels, First Black Senator, And Representatives: Black History Photo Of The Day

A picture is certainly worth a thousand words. What better way to celebrate Black History Month than by taking a moment to acknowledge the snapshots of time that represent the struggle and triumph of African-Americans through the years?

As part of our Black History Month coverage, we will be featuring one photo a day that honors years of groundbreaking achievements within the black community. These photos bring tears to our eyes, instill pride in our hearts and motivate us to carry on the legacy of strength and perseverance.

Today's photo is a lithograph of the first African-American senator and representatives to serve the U.S. Congress. On February 25, 1870, exactly 143 years ago today, Hiram R. Revels was sworn into the U.S. Senate, making him the first black person to ever sit in Congress.

After the Reconstruction Act of 1867 was passed by a majority-Republican Congress, the South was divided into five military districts and all men, regardless of race were granted voting rights. Revels was elected by the Mississippi legislature, and seven black representatives were later elected for states like Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia thanks, in large part, to the support of African American voters.

Revels and some 15 other black men served in Congress during Reconstruction, and more than 600 served in state legislatures, while hundreds held local offices.

Take a look at the photo and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

rhoades revel

PHOTO GALLERIES
Black History Month Photos

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