Black Americans Made History In Tuesday's Election

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - AUGUST 10: Yusef Salaam speaks onstage during TIME Honoring The March: An Impact Family Dinner at The National Center for Civil and Human Rights on August 10, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - AUGUST 10: Yusef Salaam speaks onstage during TIME Honoring The March: An Impact Family Dinner at The National Center for Civil and Human Rights on August 10, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia
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ATLANTA, GEORGIA - AUGUST 10: Yusef Salaam speaks onstage during TIME Honoring The March: An Impact Family Dinner at The National Center for Civil and Human Rights on August 10, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia

Black candidates celebrated historic victories in elections across the country last night, including a few notable firsts. In Philadelphia, Cherelle Parker became the first woman and first Black woman to win the mayoral election. In Rhode Island, Gabe Amo became the first Black person to represent the state in Congress. In New York City, Exonerated Five member Yusef Salaam went from being wrongfully convicted to a city council member.

Rhode Island Congressman-elect Gabe Amo

Congressman-elect Amo, 35, won a major victory over Republican Gerry Leonard, becoming the first Black candidate elected to Congress from Rhode Island. Amo is the child of Ghanaian and Liberian Immigrants. He formerly served in the White House as deputy director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs in the Obama administration.

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New York Councilmember-elect Yusef Salaam

In New York City, Salaam won his city council election on Tuesday. Councilmember-elect Salaam’s victory wasn’t exactly a surprise, as he was running unopposed.

The Root interviewed Salaam for our new digital show, The 411, where he discussed his election. “If I’m not mistaken, I’m the first person who was exonerated to be in city council,” he said. “That says something to a community of people who are looking for solutions to similar issues. Folks who have been run over the spoke wheels of justice.”

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