In total, 154 African Americans have served in Congress. This total includes:
* 144 African Americans (138 Representatives and 6 Delegates) elected only to the House of Representatives;
* 9 African Americans elected or appointed only to the Senate; and
* 1 African American who has served in both chambers.
The first African American Members, Senator Hiram Revels of Mississippi and Representative Joseph Rainey of South Carolina, both took the oath of office in 1870. These first two Members were among the 22 African American Members (2 in the Senate, 20 in the House) that began their service in the period of time after the Civil War but prior to the start of the 20th Century. After these first 22, the presence of African Americans in the Membership of Congress was not continuous and there were subsequent periods in both chambers with no African American Members.
Most recently, the 115th Congress began with the highest number of African American Members ever at the start of a Congress: 51 (46 Representatives, 2 Delegates, and 3 Senators). Other information in this report includes:
* the total number of African Americans who have served in Congress by party and type of service;
* the number of African Americans who have served in each Congress since 1870;
* the number of African Americans who have served in the House and Senate by state, district, or territory;
* the means of entry to Congress, including regular elections, special elections, and appointments;
* the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) House Congressional Member Organization;
* a listing of firsts for African Americans in Congress;
* a listing of the African Americans who have served in leadership;
* the records for length of service in the House and Senate; and
* a listing of the African American women in the 115th Congress.