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Liliana Obregón

Albuino Azaredo was elected governor of Brazil's state of Espírito Santo (1991–1995). An Afro-Brazilian engineer and successful businessman, Albuino, along with Alceu Collares of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, became one of the first black governors to be elected in Brazil.

Azeredo ran for governor of Espírito Santo as a member of the Democratic Labor Party (PDT). Election patterns have not indicated that voters in Brazil vote along racial lines, but the PDT has an active and militant tradition of speaking about racial issues as part of its political platform. In 1982, for example, its electoral campaign emphasized its commitment to the black population. In addition, influential black leaders have been prominent members of the PDT, including famous black activist Abdias do Nasciamento.

Espírito Santo's Afro-Brazilian population makes up around half of the state's voters. Azeredo did not base his 1991 campaign ...

Article

Alceu de Deus Collares was born to João de Deus Collares and Severina T. Collares in 1927. He hails from Bagé, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, which is located in the extreme southern portion of Brazil. The population of the state is comprised of mainly European immigrants. Recognizing his minority status and the overall racial prejudice against blacks in his state, Collares dubbed himself “the black from Rio Grande do Sul.” He started to work at an early age as a fruit and vegetable vendor, a telegram messenger, a luggage carrier, and a telegraph operator. After graduating in 1960 from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, he worked as an attorney specializing in tax law.

Collares's first political position was as city representative of Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, in 1964. In 1970 when Brazil was under ...

Article

Wesley Borucki

nineteenth president of the United States (1877–1881), who ended Reconstruction. Rutherford Birchard Hayes's father, Rutherford, died two months before his birth in Delaware, Ohio, and his mother, Sophia, raised him on the family farm with the help of her brother Sardis Birchard. Hayes attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, graduating as valedictorian in 1842. He studied law at Harvard and began his practice in Fremont, Ohio, in 1845. Hayes moved in 1849 to Cincinnati, where he joined the Republican Party in the 1850s, attracted by its antislavery principles.

Hayes rose to the rank of major general during the Civil War. His service was so distinguished that he won election to Congress in 1864 without campaigning. He was elected governor of Ohio an unprecedented three times from 1867 to 1875 and received the Republican presidential nomination in 1876.

The Democratic governor Samuel Tilden ...

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Alexander J. Chenault

politician, state senator, and first black governor of New York State, was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Basil Paterson and Portia Paterson. His father was a political powerhouse in Harlem, serving as state senator, deputy mayor, and secretary of state. As an infant, David developed an infection that left him completely blind in his left eye and with severely limited vision in his right eye. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to the suburban town of Hempstead, New York, which allowed him to get a regular public education instead of special education classes he would have been limited to in New York City.

Paterson fought hard throughout his childhood to overcome his disability and earn the respect of his peers refusing to learn to read Braille or use a cane or seeing eye dog As a sixth grader at Hempstead s Fulton School Paterson sat in the ...

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Beverly Morgan-Welch

governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the only son of Emily Wintersmith Patrick and Laurdine (Pat) Patrick, a musician. Reared on the south side of Chicago by his mother, since his parents separated when he was four, and with his sister, Rhonda Patrick-Sigh, he attended Chicago Public Schools. Challenged by poverty and always seeking educational opportunities, his mother supported his application to A Better Chance, an organization dedicated to securing positions in independent and public schools for children of color. In 1970 Milton Academy in Massachusetts became the springboard for his stellar academic career. He graduated from Harvard University in 1978 cum laude with an AB in English and American Literature, becoming the first member of his family to receive a college degree, and Harvard Law School in 1982 During the intervening year between college and law school he worked ...

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Caryn E. Neumann

first black governor of Massachusetts. Born on the South Side of Chicago, Deval Patrick grew up in poverty. He won a scholarship to a Boston preparatory school and then progressed through a bachelor's program at Harvard College in 1978 before graduating from Harvard Law School in 1982. He then became a staff lawyer with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund from 1983 to 1986. In 1984 he married the labor attorney Diane Bemus. The couple, who live in the wealthy Boston suburb of Milton, have two daughters, Sarah and Katherine.

Patrick served as a partner in the Boston law firm Hill & Barlow from 1986 to 1994 before becoming the assistant U.S. attorney general for civil rights. In 1997 Patrick left public service to spend three years as a partner in the law firm of Day Berry Howard He next spent a year as vice president ...

Article

Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback was the free-born son of a wealthy white planter, William Pinchback, and his longtime mistress, an emancipated slave named Eliza Steward. William Pinchback's family successfully challenged his will after his death in 1848, leaving Eliza and their five children destitute. Fearing that Pinchback's relatives would attempt to enslave them, Eliza moved the family to Cincinnati, where Pinchback attended Gilmore's High School.

In 1862, after working as a steward on a Mississippi riverboat, Pinchback joined the Union Army in New Orleans He recruited and commanded a company of the Corps d Afrique a Louisiana cavalry unit Initially all of the Corps d Afrique s officers were black The black officers learned however that their commissions were subject to qualification examinations All of the black officers except Pinchback were replaced by white officers When authorities repeatedly ignored Pinchback s demands for equal treatment ...

Article

Caryn E. Neumann

Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback, who became the first black governor in the United States and the only African American to hold a governorship during Reconstruction, was born in Macon, Georgia, to William Pinchback, a Mississippi plantation owner, and Eliza Stewart, a former slave of mixed ancestry who had been freed just before her son's birth. In 1847 Pinchback and his older brother moved to Cincinnati to attend boarding school. Upon William Pinchback's death, his heirs threatened Eliza with reenslavement, and she fled Georgia to join her sons in Ohio. The family was denied any inheritance and soon found themselves in financial straits.

At the age of twelve with his elder brother unable to cope with the sudden responsibility Pinchback became the chief supporter of his family He worked as a cabin boy on canal boats in Ohio and later as a steward on several Mississippi riverboats He learned the ...

Article

Elon A. Kulii

assistant attorney general of Alabama, member of the Alabama legislature, circuit judge, and governor of Alabama. George Corley Wallace Jr. will long be remembered as one of the staunchest supporters of segregation, white supremacy, and the rights of the southern states. He was born in Clio, Alabama, to George Corley Wallace and Mozell Wallace. He attended the public schools of Alabama and entered the University of Alabama's law school. To support himself he worked various part-time jobs. In 1942 he graduated from law school, and soon thereafter he joined the U.S. Army, serving during World War II. After the war ended, Wallace was honorably discharged from the army and returned to civilian life with his wife Lurleen and his daughter Bobbie Jo. He was given a job by Governor Chauncey Sparks as assistant attorney general Sparks had promised Wallace a job in the state capital as payback ...

Article

Rachelle Gold

governor of Virginia and mayor of Richmond. Born in Richmond, Lawrence Douglas Wilder was named after the famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass and the famous African American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. Wilder grew up in a large family as one of eight children, and he and his siblings attended segregated public schools. He graduated in 1951 from Virginia Union University, a historically black college in Richmond, with a degree in chemistry. During the Korean War, Wilder served in the U.S. Army and won the Bronze Star for heroic acts in battle. Back in Richmond after the war, Wilder worked as a chemist in a state coroner's laboratory.

With help from the GI Bill, Wilder attended law school at Howard University, and after he earned his degree in 1959 he passed the Virginia bar. He married Eunice Montgomery in 1958; they had three children and divorced in 1978 Soon ...

Article

L. Douglas Wilder has served his home state of Virginia as state senator, lieutenant governor, and governor. A native of Richmond, Virginia and the son of an insurance agent and a domestic worker, Wilder has made a career of conciliating tensions between the races.

Douglas Wilder was educated at the historically black Virginia Union University and graduated from Howard University Law School in Washington, D.C., in 1959. He was always aware of the political possibilities of his own success. He received the Bronze Star for bravery in the Korean War, and he used his recognition to fight successfully for the promotion of passed-over African American military commanders. His law practice made him a millionaire, and he parlayed his money and influence into a campaign for state senator in 1969 Wilder s success as a Democrat in a largely white Republican state flows from his position as ...