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Famous African-American Leaders

Famous African-American Leaders

A tribute to some of the most famous African-American leaders who have orchestrated the fascinating world of politics in the United States.
Historyplex Staff
Last Updated: Sep 29, 2018
The African-American community, constituting about 14.0 percent of the US population, is no doubt a prominent community in the country. It has to its credit, some leaders who have been guiding the country for the last few decades.
Barack Obama
Barack Obama served as the 44th President of the United States. From a civil rights attorney in Chicago, Obama came a long way to become the 44th President of the United States. He was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. He earned a BA in International Relationships from the Columbia University in 1983, and went on to get a J.D. (Juris Doctor) from the Harvard Law School in 1991.
Obama married Michelle Robinson, from Chicago, on October 18, 1992. The couple has 2 daughters, Malia and Sasha. Barack Obama's political career started when he succeeded Alice Palmer as the Senator from Illinois' 13th District in 1996. He was re-elected in 1998 and again in 2002.
In 2003, when the Democrats regained majority, he was appointed the Chairman of Illinois Senate's Health and Human Services Committee. Obama became only the third Senator of African-American origin to be elected by popular vote in United States history, when he garnered 70% votes in the 2004 general elections.
He declared his candidacy for the 2008 Democratic nomination in February 2007. After getting the better of Hillary Clinton, Obama went on to defeat the Republican candidate, John McCain to become the first ever Afro-American President of the United States of America.
Colin Powell
Colin Powell is an American statesman and former General of the United States Army. He was appointed the 65th US Secretary of State (2001 and 2005) during the George Bush regime. Powell was born on April 5, 1937, in New York. He earned a Bachelor's degree from the City College of New York and later earned an MBA degree from the George Washington University.
Colin Powell was the first person of African-American origin to serve as Secretary of the State. Prior to this, he also served as the National Security Advisor from 1987 to 1989―during the Ronald Reagan regime. Before retirement from the US Army, he served as the 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
A moderate Republican, Colin Powell was unanimously selected by the Senate. Throughout his career, he was admired for his willingness to support the centrist as well as liberal causes.
Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice is a diplomat, security expert, and a professor from the United States. She served as the 66th US Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009, becoming the first woman of African-American origin to serve in this position. At the same time, she became only the second woman (and the second Afro-American) to hold this position in the US government.
Rice was born on November 14, 1954, in Birmingham, Alabama. She completed her BA in Political Science from the University of Denver in 1974. She went on to get her Master's degree from the University of Notre Dame, in 1975, and a PhD from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, affiliated to the University of Denver, in 1981.
Initially a Democrat, Condoleezza Rice shifted loyalties to the Republicans in 1982, owing to the strong opposition to Democrat President, Jimmy Carter's foreign policy. After working as a professor of Political Science at the Stanford University for a brief period, she joined the Bush administration.
During the regime of George Bush, Condoleezza Rice served as the National Security Advisor from 2001 to 2005, and then as the Secretary of State till January 20, 2009.
These leaders aren't just influencing the politics of their country, but are also influencing the politics of the world for quite some time now.