tv American Artifacts CSPAN December 23, 2016 11:16pm-12:02am EST
we hope you get to visit ellis island and we'll sue you personally. join us on tuesday, january 3rd, for live coverage of the opening day of the new congress. watch the official swearing in of the new and reelected members of the house and senate. and the election of the speaker of the house. our all day live coverage of the day's events from capitol hill begins at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span and c-span.org or you could listen to it on the free c-span radio app. next on american history tv american artifacts, we visit the cannon house office building to see artifacts that tell the story of african-americans in congress in the 20th century. >> i'm farrar elliott.
>> and i'm matt wisniewski. >> and we wanted to talk today about the history of african-american representation in the 20th century. and we have a lot of artifacts from the house collection that have to do with that and a lot of history to cover. and the last african-american sort of to be elected in the 19th century leaves in 1901, george white of north carolina, and then it is a long time before another african-american comes into the house and that is oscar depriest from illinois. and we have a couple of really rare artifacts from oscar depriest from the 1920s and 30s. but before i launch into them, because i love them so much, matt, tell us a little bit about oscar depriest and how he got into congress. >> so there is a long period, almost three decades after george henry white leaves congress where there is no african-americans who serve in
either the house or the senate and that has everything to do with the jim crow laws that goes on the book in the south. and the way that that changes over time during those decades, there is a critical thing going on in the south where african-americans begin to leave the south and move northward as part of a multi-decade movement that would later be called the great immigration. and that begins depending on which historian you talk to, 1890s and runs really through world war ii. it picks up momentum around world war i, as there is a need in the north to fill industrial jobs and jobs that have been occupied by men who have now gone off to fight in the war. and you see tens of thousands of african-americans moving northward for the first time out of the rural south and out of
agricultural jobs to industrial jobs in chicago, st. louis, cleveland, pittsburgh, new york, and over time the african-american population in the cities increases. and the african-americans in those cities are gradually recruited by the political parties. and oscar depriest is a perfect example of that process. he actually is born in the south. he and his family are part of a group called the oexo dusters who move to the midwest, to kansas. he actually goes to grade school and high school in salina, kansas. but he finds his way to chicago in the 1890s and he moves up through the political system. he becomes a chicago city councilman in the mid 19-teens.
and his career has some peaks and valleys. but by the 1920s, he's part of the republican political machine in chicago as an alderman, a ward alderman. and in 1928, when the sitting congressman from chicago, a very powerful republican named martin madden, who is on the appropriations committee, passes away mid-congress, in the fall elections depriest runs for the seat and he wins. so in 1929 he comes to the house of representatives. >> you know, one of my favorite things about oscar depriest's career is this little tiny button we have in the collection that is from his career. it is a tiny -- it is really small. and it says depriest for congress with a picture of him. and one of the things i love most about it is that they are very rare.
there probably weren't that many of them around initially and very few survive. i think i've only seen maybe one or two others in existence. but if you think about this tiny little button worn on someone's lapel, looking for all of the world like any other button, this actually represents a revolution. the attempt to elect an african-american to congress for the first time in decades. so just this presence of this little inch and a quarter diameter piece of metal would have been a real statement on the part of whoever was wearing it. and i love that it has survived and that it has come back to the place that whoever owned this wanted depriest to end up, which was the u.s. congress. and when he got here, he then found a lot of -- a lot that he was interested in. a lot that came to him that
perhaps he didn't ask for in the way of how he was received, the issues he handled, all kinds of stuff like that. and he does end up being sort of the surrogate representative for african-americans in general, right? >> absolutely. and it must have been an interesting shift for him because he would come up through the chicago political machine and while he had advocated for his constituency in chicago, which was largely african-american, south side of chicago, you didn't get the sense that he really embraced this role as a representative of african-americans generally until he comes to congress. and a couple of things happen right off the bat almost immediately that really force him to take a very public role for african-american political rights, he is symbolically, and in fact, the first african-american to serve in a long time. but when he comes to congress, there is a bit of a fire storm
in the press. it was tradition for the first lady, in this case lou hoover, herbert hoover's wife, to have a tea for all of the congressional wives, spouses, nowadays we would say, but wives back in the late 1920s. and that caused consternation because there were several southern states that objected to the fact that the wives of their members of congress might actually have to have tea in the white house with an african-american woman. there were even southern states that had their legislature pass resolutions asking hoover to make sure that this didn't happen. what hoover did was to divide the tea party into a couple of different sessions and the one that jesse depriest, oscar's wife was invited to, was a very
carefully preselected small group of congresswomen who she knew wouldn't object. this got out there in the press and oscar depriest just pillared the southern state legislatures that had spoken up. and this is the first kind of road block that he runs into. another one happens here in the house, right, about where this office is located. >> yes. you know, people don't want their offices to be -- their office to be next to him. members say i will not serve -- they don't want to be serving with an african-american. and when we were doing some research recently on the history of who had what office in the different house office buildings, in the cannon house office building, just known as the house office building, it turned out that the place that oscar depriest was assigned was a bathroom. and they ripped out the plumbing and turned it into an office for
him. one has to wonder, did they choose that particular space to rip out and change for him because it could happen at the last minute and nobody -- perhaps it would side step people objecting in vance because they -- in advance and they wouldn't think anybody would be next to them and just the bathroom was next door and it was the things that sort of bubble up from lots of primary source research that our offices do, where we learn these stories behind the stories. >> one other episode happens late in depriest's career when a staffer, essentially his chief of staff and a family member of the chief of staff are asked to leave the house restaurant and move to a segregated room where african-americans could get lunch in an adjoining space. and depriest objected to this, unsurprisingly, and defended his -- his secretary, his chief
of staff. and went after the chairman of what was then called the accounts committee in the house, lindsay lorn of north carolina who had dictated that the restaurant needed to be segregated. and he comes on to the house floor and the press pays a lot of attention to this. and his line, essentially, is if we can't have freedom, if we can't have equality under the dome of the capitol, then where in god's name are we going to get it? and the house creates a special committee to investigate segregation in the restaurant. but the issue dies in that committee. and the restaurant remains segregated well into the 20th century. >> you know, it is interesting because it brings up for me thinking about not just the experience of african-american members, in the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century, but what is the experience of the african-american staff there. and the restaurant is a good
example, because in the 19th century, the privilege and responsibility and job of running the house restaurant was given as a concession, was somebody could have almost like the franchise, i guess, of running that. and in the 1860s, after the civil war is over, that is awarded to a famous african-american restaurant owner george downing. and he is up in newport, he is very famous, he is a caterer up there and he comes down to run that restaurant. and his experience is really as someone who is a business man operating in that space. and in the reconstruction period, there -- there are some salient examples of african-americans being sort of the pioneers of being on staff. and in the same way that the reconstruction period in african-american members is, there are very few in number but they manage to sort of be in -- in positions that have not been created for them but positions
that do have some weight and purpose in the house. >> and some symbolic importance to the fact that these individuals were put in those positions. one of them was william smith, who was a -- appointed the house librarian in the 1880s. it is an appointed position. one of the most prominent positions in the institution. and he is, at that point, one of the highest ranking african-americans in the federal government. and he had been brought along slowly. he first came to the house and worked in the library during the civil war. and he had been promoted by radical republicans like senator sumner had helped push him along in his career. another one who is appointed during reconstruction is the first african-american page to serve in the house on the floor, al ford q. powell of manchester, virginia, just south across the jams from richmond and he's
appointed by a member, who is part of the reconstruction virginia government. he is a carpet bagger from the north, a former union officer. and he serves in a district that represents richmond and its environs. and he's appointed in 1871. we know he serves about a year and a half in the house. and he's also the other connection there, is that he is the great grand nephew of john mercer langston who was in washington at that point. >> right. i think he was the dean or the president of howard university and later in congress himself, too. so there is sort of the network, there is an interesting network of people who know other people and are able to move pieces around and make things happen. and then we get from george downing in the 1860s running the house restaurant right up to the chief of staff for oscar depriest refusing service in the
house. and oscar depriest then sort of later in his career, he also takes on and champions these issues that needed -- that need championing and isn't related to his constituency and he is a national figure and another object in the house collection that relates to that is a program from a speech he's giving in dayton, ohio, very far from chicago. it doesn't even say what he's going to talk about. he is just sort of speaking. and it happens at the local junior high school. there is a band. and there is all kinds of terrific who-huh around the whole thing. he is being presented as a statesman who is important to the african-american community nationally, including in dayton. so toward the end of his career and probably i'm imagining earlier in his congressional career also, is part of that whole notion of surrogate representation. >> the fact that you are representing people beyond the borders of your district or your
state. you're a national figure. >> yeah. but then we don't really think of oscar depriest now that much as a national figure in natural history. of course we do, but many people don't. but there are some who sort of soon thereafter in the late 1940s who arrive who do become national figures. >> yeah. depriest leaves congress in 1935. he is defeated for re-election. actually by another african-american from chicago. who is a democrat. arthur mitchell. and he's the first african-american elected as a democrat to congress. and what you begin to see in that decade of the 1930s into the 1940s and you see it very clearly in this chicago district that depriest is from, is that there is a shift in african-american allegiance away from the republican party, the party of lincoln, the party of reconstruction, to the democratic party during the new
deal. and part of that is -- has to do with the fact that african-americans are recruited by democratic city leaders. there is the promise of greater political participation, which is that promise that pulled african-americans out of the south during the great immigration to begin with. and also the fact that there is -- they have a slightly greater voice in that new deal coalition that franklin roosevelt puts together. so they begin to be drawn toward the democratic party. mitchell is the embodiment of that. mitchell, however, is completely the opposite of depriest. he chooses not to be a surrogate representative. he down-plays the fact that he is an african-american in congress. he doesn't want to push black issues per se as he told the press on numerous occasions. he serves for a couple of terms and he's replaced by another
member named william dawson who is one of the longest serving african-americans in house history. dawson, again, another individual who started off as a republican and moved to the democratic party in chicago. and he's important because by the late 1940s, he chairs a committee that will become what we now call oversight and government reform, it was government operations back in the 1940s. and he chairs that committee really with the exception of a single term for the rest of his career. so for two decades. but he's another member who comes into the institution and unlike depriest who challenges things frontally, he feels like he could make changes by fitting into the institution and trying to effect change from his position of power as a committee chairman. >> and you know, one of the interesting things about him is that in addition to being committee chair and sort of being part of that institutional
approach to things, he then has a portrait of himself as many community chairman did, created. and it is one of the first portraits of african-american -- of an african-american in the u.s. congress which really raises it to a very elevated place in our estimation. william dawson's portrait, it is the first african-american committee chairman portrait in the house collection and he's the first african-american committee chair of a standing committee of the house. and it's a wonderful portrait in that it represents him as the embodiment of a committee chair. it is not one where there are a lot of the other elements in there to give you clues as to who he is, but it is about the stature of the man. he is standing alone. he is standing in a very conservative blue suit. he looks like a member of congress. and that is something that is really important, that part of this is -- part of his approach and many people's approach to
working in congress as members is to be part of this important institution. and he uses that and becomes an incredibly long serving committee chair. >> so william dawson, as chairman of government operations, was a member who had a legislative style that was very much a work horse style. he was behind the scenes. he didn't want to be in the media. very quiet. determined but very low key. he contrasts his style of legislating, contrasted markedly with those represented here in these objects. >> this is a wonderful book by adam clayton powell, this was published, marching blacks and published right after he's elected in 1944 and begins to serve in 1945. and powell was definitely a man ready with a program for
progress. and is he ready to tell you all about it. he was the pastor of a baptist church in harlem and he represents a harlem district and he serves a really long -- a very long time in congress. this is from the beginning of his congressional career. this later moving from the paper form to wax is a recording he made called keep the faith, baby, it is a series of speaking meditations on a number of different issues and this book end his career which is very long. and he is no william dawson, he has a different approach as to how to do things. >> all human beings, black and white, rich and poor, equal in the sight of god. keep your faith in the life of your fellow man even though he abuses you. when he abuses you, he makes himself a lesser man. a great man once said, love your
enemies, less they curse you and do good to them and pray -- pray, pray, pray -- for them which despitely use you and persecute you. keep your faith. >> up through the 1970s, powell was the person who kind of embodied civil rights in the house. right. civil rights in congress. he's elected in 1944. he and dawson are the only two members of congress for a number of congress' until the early 1950s and two very contrasting styles, whereas dawson is very behind the scenes, powell is out front talking to the media, pushing against segregation practices in the house restaurant, in the press galleries, in terms of accreditation of african-american reporters, he's
constantly pushing the envelope. there is a great story that we've covered in our book, black americans in congress, where sam rayburn, the reveered, long-time speaker of the house from texas has a conversation with powell when he first comes in and -- and the gist of it is, freshman listen quietly and learn. and don't go causing a ruckus. you could imagine powell, this new yorker from harlem listening to this texan from bonham, texas, explain to him the ways of the house. and powell looked at him and said, mr. speaker, i have a bomb in both hands and i'm ready to hurl them. so -- but he had a great relationship with rayburn. according to rayburn's account afterwards. and but he he is constantly pressing the envelope in the house. he gets on to the education and labor committee, very influential committee, particularly by the 1960s when we go through a reform period
during the kennedy and johnson administrations and particularly at the start of the great society with lyndon johnson. he's chairman of the committee and it pushes through 50 different measures related to education reforms. so a very substantive legislator in addition to being -- having a -- a show horse kind of style. very flamboyant. >> well one of the things that i think is interesting about him is that those two aspects. because there is the part where he is known as mr. civil rights and he is very willing to -- to champion civil rights on all levels, both legislatively and in sort of the life of the house. i remember you tells me once about even something as -- as seemingly minor as sitting in the house chamber and where you sit in the house chamber, that, too, came up for him. >> there is another story that one of his biographers tells.
so seating in the house chamber is open, as long as you respect the party block tradition, democrats to the speaker's right, republicans to the speaker's left. but when powell came in, there was a very prominent southern member who told the press and this was a chairman of the committee, he said i refuse to sit next to a black man on the house floor. and so what powell did was follow him around for a day on the floor, this very senior member, and take a seat next to him any time he sat down. and forced this very senior member to move around the chamber, whichsy lot of people took note of, including the press. afterwards powell told a reporter, he said, i'm a baptist minister by training and i don't know whether to bapt ize that man or drown him. so powell had a good sense of humor. he serves for -- oh, boy, to the
early 1970s. so he is one of the longer serving african-americans in house history. you have to remember, when powell came into congress in the mid 1940s, there was no large civil rights movement that was happening outside of congress. there is nothing happening. and that doesn't come along until the 1950s with martin luther king and the southern christian leadership conference. and so powell is very much the face of civil rights in the u.s. for more than a decade. but then once that movement begins halving outside of congress, as one of his biographers has told us, he begins to compete with it a little bit because he is no longer the face of civil rights. and over time, his attendance, his behavior becomes a little more erratic. the house, actually if the late 1960s, refuses to seat him. the supreme court rules that he is, in fact, entitled to be
seated. but by the late 1960s, he has kind of run the course of his career and leaves the house in the early 1970s. and in some cases, we see that in the artifacts we have in the house collection, in the case of this late artifact from 1967, keep the faith, baby, this recording in which he is really sort of -- he is speaking over the heads of congress and directly to the people very much by producing this. and he's a great orator and aterrivish preacher and if you see him preaching, it is quite something and released this on jubilee records of sort of in certificating himself into the conversation. >> we have two artifacts in the collection that are similar in style and usage, but the small differences in them really show up a change in african-american
serving in congress over just a 15-year period, from the late 50s to the mid-70s. so the late 50s object is a fan. and it's called the nation's negro congressman. and it was clearly printed in many large numbers. it was passed out for free. and in the late '50s, it con tapes a big picture of the capitol and four members of congress, the four african-americans members of congress who served at that time all in the house. and then if you jump forward to the mid '70s. instead of four members of congress and a big old picture of the capitol, it has gotten so crowded there that they've eliminated that, language is changed and now instead of negro congressman, it is black lawmakers in congress, and there are over a dozen members there. and it really shows a kind of before and after of a particular time in american history and congressional history. it kind of really covers sort of
the 60s and the very early 70s and the changes that happened for african-americans in congress, right. >> right. and the big change that happens in the middle that period is the passage of the voting right act in 1965, extending protections to african-american voters in the south, allowing them to register. and that has some pretty big implications for quite literally changing the face of congress over the course of the next decade. in 1965, there were just six african-americans serving in congress, all in the house. by the mid 1970s, that number has grown to 18 members. and it's -- over time it is an increasingly diverse lot. we get our first african-american woman, shirley chisolm in 1969. but more specifically to the voting rights act which protects voters in districts that had -- where they had a hard time registering previously because of local laws and tate laws and
disenfranchisement. we had the first southern members elected since reconstruction, andrew young from georgia and barbara jordan from texas. and as the numbers of african-americans in congress increase, one thing that this allows that core group to do is to create an issues caucus. so in 1971 we have the formation of the congressional black caucus, which is a group of roughly a dozen members at that point. but it is able to exercise some power as a voting block and as a -- as a organization which educates members on issues that are important to the black community nationally. and so the black caucus becomes involved very early on in things
like opposing apartheid in south africa and building momentum to pass a holiday to commemorate martin luther king's birthday and inside of the institution, too, it is important to african-american members because it is doing things like getting them on to bigger and better committees and into positions where they can influence a broad range of legislation. >> one of my favorite parts of the house collection are our campaign buttons, especially as they relate to african-american lawmakers. we have some from the very early period, in the early 20th century for oscar depriest, for example and moving forward as the number of member congress grows an grows, african-american members are represented more and more by a variety and a number of buttons. some of my favorite are for ron dellums because he is from the west coast who comes in as everyone does, brand spanking new and ultimately comes to
chair a committee of the house. in fact, we have a button right here, ron dellums, for congressman. and so clearly this is from a re-election campaign and at that point he had begun some of the most interesting things he was doing in the ways that he operated within the house, right? >> yeah, dellums is elected to congress in the 1970s election. he comes into the house in 1971. he's a veteran. he had run on an anti-war movement, running against the war in vietnam. he represents berkeley, california, which has a strong anti-war constituency and he wants to get on committees where he can begin to effect military policy. so he begins to lobby to get on to the armed services committee. he's also a co-founder of the congressional black caucus in 1971. and he uses that -- the caucus to help move into a position where he can get on armed
services. and one of thetories that he told us in an oral history interview was going to speaker of the house carl albert and appealing to speaker albert to put him on armed services. and this was in effect going around the committee chairman who was a southern dixie-crat from louisiana. and he went in to make this pitch with his fellow congressional black caucus colleagues, louie stokes and bill clay, with clay playing bad cop and stokes playing good cop and dell um is trying to whittle his way on to the committee. >> walked into the meeting, carl albert said we did, we got all of the members of the cbc on the various committees but we couldn't do anything for ron. so that is when we started to talk. and i went to mr. stokes, mr. speaker, it is a matter of
principal. and then bill clay. and if you don't put the brother on the committee, we're going to denounce this as a racist institution and we're going to call a press conference. so you got the nice guy going, this is a matter of principle, and ron dellums knows these issues and bill clay saying, this is about fairness and justice, right. so at a certain point, carl albert got up and he said, i'm going to see if i could get this thing reconsidered. at that moment, i knew i had won. so we walk out and i said, it's over. he said, do you really think so? i said the fact that the speaker said they were going to reconsider it, it's done. okay. an hour and a half later, i get this phone call, i'm the first african-american appointed to the house armed services committee. incredible thing. >> so dellums gets on to the committee, finds out from
speaker albert that he has the assignment but that is only half of the battle. because he shows up on the day that the committee is being organized and he realizes that there is just one seat that has been put out for him at the dais and that seat is going to have to be shared with pat schroder, another anti-war candidate who had come into congress in that session. >> first day we organize, pat schroder who had just won as a freshman was on armed service. the two of us are at the bottom of the room. but there is only one chair available at the -- at the committee table. and nobody wanted to -- they didn't want another seat there. so just one seat. and i looked at pat schroder and i introduced myself and i said my name is ron dellums and i'm from california and she said, i know. and i'm honored to be here with
you. my grandmother taught me not to let people make fun of you cheaply, if it's okay with you, it's cool with me, why don't you and i sit in this seat side by side together as if it is the most normal thing in the world. and she said, cool. so we sat on this one seat for the entire organizational meeting and we never acted as if -- even though we wanted to scream, we said, no. we just let our silence and our behavior handle it. and they didn't know what to do. because we didn't scream, so there was no -- so the next time the two seats were there, we made our point, and we moved on. >> dellums service on that committee is really kind of reflecting a wider period of reform in the house where the
power of committee chairs is rolled back. and junior members, and a diversity of members, african-americans and women, get bigger and better committee assignments. and it's -- within a congress representative dellums is part of a group that helps remove that original chairman from the committee and put in another chairman. and eventually by the end of his career, he chairs the armed services committee. so one of the other changes that is going on here is more african-americans are elected to congress in the decades, the 1970s, 80s, 90s, is we see for the first time women represented in that group. and the very first was shirley chisolm, who was elected from a brooklyn center district in 1968. she comes into the house in 1968. and someone again who very much
has kind of a -- a show horse legislative style. she's out talking to the press. she's very much part of a feminist wave of women congress members. she serves alongside people like bella abs from new york. and she eventually chaired -- serves on the house rules committee. and which is a powerful committee in the house. but throughout her career is kind of a -- again another person who is a symbolic or a surrogate representative. not just for african-americans, but for women. and following her throughout the next four decades are roughly 40 african-american women who are elected to congress. and that's an impressive number when you look at that number relative to the number of african-americans who have served in congress from the
beginning. it is a much larger percentage than for, example, caucasian women or hispanic women or asian-american women, so kind of the rising influence of women within that community and their role in congress. >> you know, one of the things that is interesting about looking at women in congress and african-american women in congress is seeing the role on the national stage, and we have a couple of artifacts here that really illustrate that. here is a cover of ebony magazine from 1969. right when shirley chisolm just took office and she is on the cover and it is new faces in congress. she is first black woman on capitol hill. and she, like many other members of congress, really become important national figures in the african-american press.
for example, right around the time when the congress am black caucus is created, ebony magazine is able to put a lot of folks on the cover as that is created. and it -- it really becomes an important caucus, an important issue-based group, but each of these individual people become important in different ways to different communities. yvonne burk is here seen on the cover of jet twice. once in the 1960s when it says woman who may become congresswoman. and she does not become congress woman in 1967, but a little bit later on she does -- is elected to congress and very much shows up on the covers of a lot of magazines as the face not just of black women in congress, but of women in congress and of younger women in congress. she's the first member of congress to have a baby while she's serving. and she shows up on an ebony
magazine cover holding her baby in something that is -- probably the first time there had been such a cover of a lawmaker holding a brand-new baby. shirley chisolm also becomes a national figure in ways that are shown by these two buttons we have here in the collection. they don't say anything about her running for congress, do they? they are all about her running for president. shirley chisolm is our girl for president, for president to represent all americans. and you could see the woman symbol around her face and the center of this really places her in with a feminist agenda and that is something that was very much important to her and on the national stage in the 1972 election, she was very much putting together a very interesting group of people. and if you look at film clips of her at the democratic convention, it is really interesting to see her really seasoned paul talking about her delegates and what she's going to do with them, things like
that. so they are very skilled politicians who also become, as you say, show horse approaches to things. so when you see behind the scenes and in front of the scenes, you really see a lot of action going on in the 70s. >> i stand before you today as a candidate for the democratic nomination for the presidency of the united states of america. [ applause ] >> when the congressional black caucus is founded in the very early '70s, one thing they do that is sort of striking as something that brings them to more prominence than just yet another caucus in congress, is that they really become a -- they place themselves in a national context. and one example of that is this fantastic record album. it is the first annual benefit concert for the congressional black caucus and held at the
capitol center and featured such fantastic people as kool and the gang, how could you not like that and gladys knight and the pips and was very successful and part and parcel of the congressional black caucus being a real power. there are thousands of objects in the house collection of art and artifacts. and these are just a few of them. you could learn a lot more about them on our website which is history.house.gov. but even more importantly than going to the website and finding out about stuff, the thing that i think is important is that these are all objects that really represent this incredibly long history of an in he had credibly -- incredibly long and important institution and from ron dell um's our congress that is just text on a background to something far grander like a portrait or a picture of shirley chisolm on the cover of a magazine, each of these is putting a little bit of a human
face on the history of the house of representatives and it makes the institution just that much more accessible to all of us. so that we can really get a sense of who were these people, who were the people that represent us, who counts in american democracy. and what is our role in it too. >> the history of african-americans in congress is an important one for us to preserve and tell. it tells us really a story of two different levels. one of them is the history of our institution. and some of the dynamic people who have been a part of it. some of the unique personalities. and also how our institution evolved as african-americans became part of that. and it's in that perspective, too, that the other story that is being told here is the one of the african-american experience nationally post civil war, from reconstruction to jim crow to the great immigration to
increased political participation during the mid 20th century civil rights movement and the revolution that that brought. so it is really telling two very important stories that the house is both effected by and also effects. >> to see more photographs, art work and images of african-americans in congress, visit history.house.gov. the website is a collaborate project between the u.s. house of representatives historians office and the house clerk's office of art and archives.