In 1870, Republican Hiram Revels of Mississippi became the first African American senator. Five years later, Republican Blanche K. Bruce of Mississippi took the oath of office.
Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner said, "The time has passed for argument. Nothing more need be said. For a long time it has been clear that colored persons must be senators." Sumner, a Republican, later said, “All men are created equal, says the great Declaration, and now a great act attests this verity. Today we make the Declaration a reality…. The Declaration was only half established by Independence. The greatest duty remained behind. In assuring the equal rights of all we complete the work.”
Senator Revels conduct in the Senate, along with that of the other black Americans who had been seated in the House of Representatives, prompted a white Congressman, James G. Blaine, to write in his memoir, "The colored men who took their seats in both Senate and House were as a rule studious, earnest, ambitious men, whose public conduct would be honorable to any race."
Senator Blanche Kelso Bruce