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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 ...

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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 ...

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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

Dan T. Carter

A 1942 graduate of the University of Alabama Law School, Wallace was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1946 and elected a circuit judge in 1953. A racial moderate until he lost a 1958 gubernatorial bid to an ultrasegregationist, Wallace vowed that he would “never be out-niggered again.” Elected governor in 1962 as the civil rights movement gained momentum, he pledged “Segregation now! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!” In 1963, however, after fulfilling a pledge to “stand in the schoolhouse door” at the University of Alabama, he stepped aside to allow the enrollment of black students. His segregationist stance won strong support among whites in his state and beyond. In 1964 he challenged Lyndon B. Johnson in the Democratic party's Wisconsin, Indiana, and Maryland presidential primaries, winning more than a third of the votes. Barred from a further consecutive gubernatorial term in 1966 he was ...

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 ...