African-Americans have been monumental -- and often controversial -- forces in the political realm since Reconstruction.
Americans are hip to Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and Shirley Chisholm. But these weren't the only people calling for sociopolitical change and advocating for justice.
Black history is American history. So here are six lesser-known black politicians who broke barriers, fought for racial equality and played significant roles in constructing U.S. policy: