Sanford Bishop, a Representative from Georgia; born in Mobile, Mobile County, Ala., February 4, 1947; B.A., Morehouse College, 1968, J.D., Emory University School of Law, 1971; lawyer, private practice; United States Army, 1969-1971; member of the Georgia state house of representatives, 1977-1991; member of the Georgia state senate, 1991-1993; elected as a Democrat to the 103rd Congress and to the nine succeeding Congresses. Congressman Bishop's official page.
Hank Johnson Jr., a Representative from Georgia; bon in Washington, D.C., October 2, 1954; B.A., Clark College (Clark Atlanta University), 1976; J.D., Thurgood marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University, 1979; lawyer, private practice; DeKalb County, Ga., board of commissioners, 2001-2006; judge magistrate court, 1989-2001; one of the managers appointed by the House of Representatives in 2009 to conduct the impeachment proceedings of Samuel B. Kent, judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas; elected as a Democrat to the 110th Congress and to the two succeeding Congresses. Congressman Johnson's official page.
John Lewis, a Representative from Georgia; born in Troy, Pike County, ALA., February 21, 1940; B.A. American Baptist Theological Seminary, 1961; B.A. Fisk Univeristy, 1967; director of ACTION, 1977-1980; community affairs director, National Consumer Co-op Bank, Atlanta, 1980-1986; member of the Atlanta, GA., city council, 1982-1986; elected as a Democrat to the 100th Congress and to the twelve succeeding Congresses. Learn more at the New Georgia Encyclopia entry.
Jefferson Franklin Long was the second African-American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Long served less than three months--the shortest term of any African-American member--but nevertheless became the first Black member to speak on the House floor. Read more about Congressman Long.
Denise Majette was the second African-American woman from Georgia to serve in Congress. Upsetting a veterant incumbent in the Democratic primary for a congressional set from Georgia, she coasted to vistory in the general election, earning a spot in the U.S. House of Representatives for the 108th Congress (2003-2005). Prior to her term in Congress, Majette served as a judge on the state court of DeKalb County, GA. In 2005 she ran for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by Zell Miller.
Cynthia McKinney was the first African-American woman from Georgia to serve in Congress. McKinney was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992. With a resume that included graduate work in international relations, Representative McKinney's background fit her service on the Armed Services and International Relations committees, where she addressed human rights issues. The outspoken Representative, who sometimes held polarizing view on key foreign policy issues, lost her re-election bid in 2002. Two years later, voters in her DeKalb County-centered district returned her to the House for a single term, making her one of a handful of Congresswomen who served nonconsecutive terms. Entry in Women in Congress.
Harold D. Melton was appointed to the Georgia Suprme Court in 2005 byGovernor Sonnie Perdue. The first African-American to be appointed to the court by a Republican governor since Reconstruction.
David Scott, a Representative from Georgia; born in Aynor, S.C. on June 27, 1946; B.A., Florida A&M, 1967; M.B.A., The Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania, 1969; business owner; member of the Georgia state house of representatives, 1974-1982; member of the Georgia state senate, 1982-2002; elected as a Democrat to the 108th Congress and to the four succeeding Congresses. Congressman Scott's official page.
Leah Ward Sears is an American jurist and former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia. Raised in Savannah, GA, she received her B.S. from Cornell University in 1976, her J.D. from Emory University School of Law in 1980, and her Masters of Laws from University of Virginia School of Law in 1995. She was the first African-American female Chief Justice in the United States. When she was first appointed as justice in 1992 by Governor Zell Miller, she became the first woman and youngest person to sit on the Georgia Supreme Court. Read more about Justice Sears.
Clarence Thomas was born in the Pin Point community of Georgia near Savannah June 23, 1948. He attended Conception Seminary and received and A.B., cum laude, from Holy Cross College, and a J.D. from Yal Law School in 1974. He served as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.s. Department of Education, and as Chairman of the U.s. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He became a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1990. President Bush nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat October 23, 1991 becoming the second African-American to serve as a United States Supreme Court Justice. Read more in the New Georgia Encyclopedia entry.
Andrew Young was the first black Representative from Georgia since Jefferson Long's election a century earlier. Young and Barbara Jordon of Texas, also entering Congress for the first time, served as the first black members from the Deep South since Reconstruction. "I consider this victory a little more than just being the first Black man to go to Congress from this deep South state." Learn more at the New Georgia Encyclopedia entry.
Mary Frances Early became the first African-American to graduate from the University of Georgia. Read more at the New Georgia Encyclopedia entry.
Hamilton Holmes was one of the first two African-American students admitted to the University of Georgia in 1961, Holmes was also the first black student admitted to the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta two years later. Read more at the New Georgia Encyclopedia entry.
Ronnie Hogue, the first black scholarship athlete to play a major sport at UGA, integrated the school’s athletic program in 1969. Read the 2006 Red & Black article.
Charlayne Hunter was one of the first two African-American students admitted to the University of Georgia in 1961, In her 1992 memoir In My Place, Hunter-Gault described her experiences. Read more at the New Georgia Encyclopedia entry.
AT UGA LAW
Larry Blount became the first African-American professor at the UGA School of Law in 1976. Read this 2004 memorial for more information.
Sharon N. Tucker was the first African-American female graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law. She is currently a professor of political science at Albany State University.
Horace T. Ward was the first African-American to sue for admission to an all-white college in Georgia, specifically the UGA School of Law. Ward, who was denied admission, subsequently was admitted to and graduated from Northwestern University Law School in Chicago. Ironically, he later became counsel, along with well-known civil rights attorney Donald Hollowell, in the 1961 legal case that successfully gained the admission of Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter to the University of Georgia and resulted in the school’s desegregation. Read more at the New Georgia Encyclopedia entry.
Voices of History
Pioneers in Athens
Monroe Bowers "Pink" Morton was an African-American businessman. He owned and operated the historic Morton Building which contains the Morton Theatre, the first African-American vaudeville theatre in the state.
Michael L. Thurmond was the first African-American elected to the Georgia General Assembly from Clarke County since Reconstruction.
- Download the African American Athens Driving Tour to visit important local sites.
- Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery