February 7, 2023


Black Republicans Making History in the 118th Congress

By: Peyton Holliday

History is always happening around us, but many times that history is not mentioned in the news. Few things in the history of the world actually fit the narrative that the media is trying to paint . To celebrate Black history month, I want to highlight the success of conservative Black congressman of the 118th Congress.The Republican party was founded in 1854 and has long been an advocate for the founding principles of the United States. When the Republican party was founded, it was an anti-slavery party that stood for freedom for all Americans. The Republicans carried the United States through the Civil War and brought the Union back together. After their victory with the Civil War, the Republican party grew into what we know it as today. 

Right after the Civil War and during reconstruction many Black Republicans were elected to offices both on the state level and on the federal level. Over time and through societal changes between the Republicans and the Democrats few Black Republicans ran for office, much less elected. 

While many Black Democrats made their way up to D.C. through elections and even with the celebration of the first black President – Barack Obama – there were few black Republicans willing to run for office or even gather the momentum to get elected. 

After the 2012 election the Republican party began doing their own research into the African American community. Their first step was to go into communities that they had not been in before and establish a presence. This was a good first start for the Republican party, but lacked the funds to do much more than they did. With added money and enthusiasm, there could be changes made within the African American community. We saw many of these changes happen in the last ten years leading up to the 2020 election. 

Pew Research conducted a survey leading up to the 2020 election about black voters and the demographics that they make up here in the United States. For being in the minority, black voters have potential to swing elections as they make up significant percentages in swing states, as well as in larger cities. Through the work of the Republican Party in the last few years, more and more black voters have been voting with Republicans. This is significant and leading up to 2022, there were conversations even more Black Republicans running for office. 

Finally in the2022 midterms, there was an uptick in Black Republicans running for office and even winning. For many who won their races, history was made.These Black Republicans have been making strides in their own communities and even across the country as a whole. Many of these Black Republicans have been under appreciated and sometimes even flat out ignored for their strides to make history in Congress and for the Republican party.A book even exists on the history of Black Republicans in the modern day and the loneliness that they deal with standing for what they believe in falling on deaf ears

Here are some recent history makers on Capitol Hill since Reconstruction:

Tim Scott of South Carolina made history as the first Black Republican in the Senate from a Southern state since Reconstruction. 

Burgess Owens is the first black Republican from Utah to serve in the House of Representatives.

Here is a list of all the Black Republicans who ran for office in 2022, while many of them lost, they still showed immense progress within the Republican party.

John James won a tight race in Michigan, a pretty solid Democratic stronghold, making history again for the Republican party. 

Byron Daniels was the first Black Republican to be nominated for speaker this year when things were shaky with electing McCarthy as speaker. 

All of these Black Republicans have made history in their own right. All of them have fought not just for liberty and conservative ideals, but fought for a place among other Republicans in our nation. 

While we can certainly pick out others who have made history in the last ten or so years, it is the Black Republicans that have shattered glass ceilings and worked hard to fight for what they believe in. 

As we celebrate Black History month, be sure to look for the under appreciated and those that have been forgotten by the media. History speaks louder than the media and it shows when browsing the public record.