November 2nd, 2010
10:42 PM ET
12 years ago

No African-Americans in next U.S. Senate

New York (CNN) - Despite record election achievements by African-Americans in the House, the United States Senate will not have an African-American in its ranks.

All three black Senate candidates, Kendrick Meek (D-FL), Alvin Greene (D-SC) and Mike Thurmond (D-GA) are projected to lose tonight. The only incumbent black senator, Roland Burris (D-IL), is retiring.

Only six black senators have served: three Republicans and three Democrats, including the future President Barack Obama (D-IL).

There have been 118 voting members of Congress who are African-American. This year the GOP has 14 African-Americans on the ballot, any one of which could become the first black Republican in the house since 2003.

There are 41 African-American Democrats in Congress of which most are running in majority black districts. CNN projects Alabama sent its first African-American woman to Congress tonight with the election of Terri Sewell in the state's 7th district. She is a Democrat.

Filed under: 2010 • Senate
soundoff (297 Responses)
  1. Ray in D.C.

    No African-Americans... what to do? So, the Officer Crowley incident sparked a discussion about race and was a teachable moment for the administration. It was telling on how Obama jumps to conclusions about race. When a Hispanic news organization interviews him and he targets groups as the enemy, you have a man that has used race to his advantage his whole life along Michelle Hussein who used Affirmative Action to learn how to walk. Sadly, he has divided us further. There is no reason to vote for him or other opportunists that promote his type of agenda. Pure propaganda.

    November 2, 2010 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  2. Vj

    I think this is very race to the black why is this in the news!!!!!!!!

    November 2, 2010 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  3. Alfonso

    We have to remember that the Senate represents the State as a whole while the Hose has smaller districts. Add to that the projected outcome of liberals loosing tonite and the reason has nothing to do with race.

    November 2, 2010 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  4. Ashley

    This is very heartbreaking, as a country some people think that we have made so much racial progress, but this is evidence that there is still a ways to go.
    To all those commenting that race doesn't matter or that we should just ignore race, and the need for descriptive representation; you are sadly mistaken. A lot of people who want to avoid discussing race, you have to educate yourselves. Race has been one of the most significant aspects of the foundation of America as well as its laws. People have used race to justify slavery and centuries of violence, so we can't just ignore its affects now. It affects certain marginalized races (NOT minorities) ability to amass wealth,their educational outcomes and access to political opportunity. Yes even all these years later.Its not just about policy, and its not just about race. But we definitely can't start trying to be color bind. I'm glad CNN recognizes that.Read “When Affirmative Action was white” Ira Katznelson.

    November 2, 2010 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  5. Cheese

    For all that question why this article was necessary, step outside of your lily-white world for just one moment. If there was no one that "looked like you" in seats of power, how exactly would you feel? Would you feel that this nation were truly a melting pot? Or would you feel that statement was so much lip service? Dismissing the thoughts and feelings of others is what keeps this nation from being as great as it could be. Stop the divide-and-conquer mentality.

    November 2, 2010 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  6. Jsianga

    Very wierd. Someone is dragging kenya into this issue. Kenya is a country that welcomes everybody. We dont focus on races. We might be poor than united states but we have dignity and respect to any human being whether black or white. For some one to blame obama and kenya its truly disrespectiful of the kenya. So blame obama not kenya because he is AMERICAN!!!

    November 2, 2010 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  7. mike

    So, nobody voted for a black senator in any election in any state and that somehow makes the senate racist? It's the republicans fault? The tea party did it? Must have, couldn't be possible that they didn't win on their own merits, its the man keeping them down, that's it.

    November 2, 2010 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  8. revo

    Let's drop the whole "african-american" title. I don't go around sayin' I'm "Northern European, Mediterranean, British Isles- American".

    November 2, 2010 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  9. Connie

    The people vote who they think best represents their ideologies. Its not about race Solidad... get over it!

    November 2, 2010 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  10. Geronimo

    If strong African-American candidates who represented the 90% of their districts who AREN'T African-American had been defeated, that might be news. But Alvin Greene? Kendrick Meek is a nice guy, but not a strong candidate. Where's the real news? Three weak candidates failed. Who cares? They're African-American. NOW we got a headline!

    November 2, 2010 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  11. Kate

    Tarsha, you are just repeating the racist lies that you were taught by your family. There are more whites on welfare in case
    they left out that bit of info. The republicans take for themselves then blame you. Republicans sent whites jobs overseas
    and they had to get welfare and lost their homes and the republicans blamed them by telling the lie that they bought homes
    they couldn't afford when they could afford the home but lost their job. When you need the help, what lie are the
    republicans going to tell about you? The republicans will show you soon enough.

    November 2, 2010 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  12. ryan

    Hey Larry, who is the President right now? Your comment makes no sense.

    November 2, 2010 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  13. Lou

    So no one in the Senate needs to keep their hands on their wallets?

    November 2, 2010 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  14. Vetti

    America, our day has come to feel the hunger and the pain that many poor other countries go through routinely and also half if not most of this nation already. I guess we have been spoiled enough and now its time for us to suffer. Only those who accept it humbly will survive.

    November 2, 2010 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  15. D.Moore

    I think communities need to be educated more on/about politics,Im a blck female in Texas and I voted for Bill White who is white with this being said its not about race its about WHO will fight for you and your community!! Your state!!!Every1 went to vote for the presidential election thats just the gravy you have to have your meat and potatoes too!!!Educate communities so they can know its not all aout voting for prez u have to vote for senators,governors,h.s,etc...and they come in alllllll different colors!!!!

    November 2, 2010 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  16. NameGordan

    I am not voting for a black candidate for the sake of voting for a black candidate. Afirminitive action is a wrong way to hire and definately a wrong way to elect.

    FYI: I helped reelect my black district rep base on his performance and stances. By that one action can I now proclaim I am not racist?

    November 2, 2010 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  17. Kara

    Kudos to Ms. O'Brien for reporting this. While many may feel that "race doesn't matter" they are not considering the significance of representation and what that means for specific communities across our great country. What this blog entry is pointing out is that there is a loss of representation and a loss of perspectives. Having a multi-racial and multi-ethnic Congress demonstrates a diversity of perspective and opinion. Historically, equality and economic mobility for minorities has been stalled under majority party rule. To say that "race doesn't matter" is dangerously myopic and prohibits us from dealing with institutional and historical racism in our nation.

    November 2, 2010 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  18. John

    Iam sick and tired of the black poor pittieful me. Your own people sold slaves. Now your Black President is selling America!

    November 2, 2010 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  19. james

    since the blacks have lost their relevance as being the biggest minority group in America -they are no longer wooed for political positions – I personally see the democrats trading the black vote for the Hispanic vote and then seeking out Hispanic candidates -Where I predict the black voter is going to have to vote for a Hispanic Democrat or a white republican

    November 2, 2010 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  20. Son of CSM.Wiggins

    Fact is most white people don't like blacks they don't want us in power at Steve why leave lets have a war over it

    November 2, 2010 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  21. LT

    TOTALLY agree with 'WOW's' comment!!!!

    November 2, 2010 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    For those want to believe that race doesn't matter- please stop being so ignorant and blind!!! This country was built on RACISM!! Racism still exist! Our government and the way it is structured to be run is failing all Americans ESPECIALLY those of African-American descent. Yes that is a problem that Blacks have to face head on but please don't think that the powers that be(who are white conservatives) that control everything including most politicians want Blacks to succeed in anything in this country! So please stop the foolishness!

    November 2, 2010 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  23. citizencain2009

    America is in a terrible position. We got screwed for 8 years by Bush/Cheney Republican debacle and were are going to get screwed again with a Republican controlled Congress and Senate.

    Thanks Crist for throwing the monkey wrench in the Florida US Senate race. I didn't understand it, but tonight it dawned on my that you did what you did to keep Kendrick Meeks out of the US Senate, which he would have been the only African American in the US Senate.

    Thanks to all the African Americans that didn't vote today, your not voting was not in vain.

    November 2, 2010 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  24. Vern

    I think America is having an epiphany tonight. I know many blacks who voted for Obama to be president only because he is black. And yet, tonight, most of those people realize that they are worse off than they were two years ago and have made the cricial decision to put aside skin color and vote for policies. Finally, and I don't care if you're a D or an R, we are starting to break away from racially-motivated politics and all Americans are seeing that they have to use their brains to decide who is the best candidate for their future, for their children's future and for the long-term future of America. I think America does have a future in the world, after al.

    November 2, 2010 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  25. David B.

    @Sonny Sparkz
    You said – "After reading this article, I found myself a little emotional. It almost feels like a senate with no Blacks is naturally racist. I wouldn't trust an all white senate."

    Sonny, please read what you said again – That sounds quite a bit racist in-and-of itself.

    November 2, 2010 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
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