Congressional Black Caucus

In 1955, Charles Diggs Jr. became the first Black person from Michigan elected to the House of Representatives. His election paved the way for more Black politicians to enter an arena that often times represented them by district but never really looked like them in session.

As the numbers grew, Diggs created what would be known as the precursor to the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), the Democratic Select Committee. Diggs realized there was power in numbers and Black leaders were in a prime spot to influence, develop legislature, and support marginalized groups. By 1971, the CBC was formed, and while it was met with resistance by Richard Nixon’s administration, Black leaders held their ground and forced Nixon’s hands in acknowledging their existence.

In this episode of Black History In Two Minutes or So hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr. — with additional commentary from Hasan Jeffries of Ohio State University — we celebrate a group of Black congressional leaders who continue to be the voice for marginalized groups today.

Black History in Two Minutes (or so) is a 9x nominated and 5x Webby Award winning series.

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Archival Materials Courtesy of:
• Alamy Images
• Associated Press
• Getty Images

Additional Archival Material Courtesy of:
• Congressional Black Caucus
• Richard Nixon Foundation
• The Los Angeles Times
• The New York Times
• The San Diego Voice & Viewpoint
• United States Congress

Executive Producers:
• Robert F. Smith
• Henry Louis Gates Jr.
• Dyllan McGee
• Deon Taylor

Senior Producer:
• William Ventura

Series Producers:
• Chinisha Scott
• William Ventura

Executive in Charge of Production:
• Robert L. Yacyshyn

Post Production Supervisor:
• Veronica Leib

Post Production Coordinator:
• Katherine Swiatek

Written By:
• Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Additional Writing:
• Kevin Burke
• Kelsi Lindus
• Chinisha Scott
• William Ventura

• Margaret Metzger
• Anne Yao

• Kevin Burke

Archival Producer:
• Megan Graham

• Zoë Smith

Assistant Editors:
• Patrice Bowman
• Nicholas Mastrangelo

Director of Photography:
• Nikki Bramley
• Nausheen Dadabhoy
• Stephen McCarthy

Graphic Design:
• Anthony Kraus

Special Thanks:
• Daina Ramey Berry
• Sam Hartley
• Elyssa Hess
• Stacey Holman
• Hasan Jeffries
• Peniel Joseph
• Imani Perry

Music By:
• Oovra Music

Be Woke presents is brought to you by Robert F. Smith and Deon Taylor.

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