Remembering John “Gus” Plummer, a ‘Distinguished Gentleman’

Imagine a determined black man running for political office who plays off a well-known political name and somehow against all odds wins election. No, we’re not taking about The Distinguished Gentleman, the movie starring Eddie Murphy. On November 4, 1980, it happened in real life. John “Gus” Plummer became  Florida’s first Republican African American . […]

Red Letter Date: Redistricting Propels Blacks to Congress

      On November 3, 1992, three black politicians are elected to Congress from Florida in newly drawn minority majority political districts. Democrats Corrine Brown from Jacksonville, Alcee Hastings of Miramar and Carrie Meek of Miami  became the first blacks elected to Congress since Reconstruction. Of the three, only Hastings is still in the […]

Red Letter Date: Black Republicans Win Big, Serve Briefly

  November 2, 2010 was a big day for black Republicans. In the year of the Tea Party, Allen West was perhaps the movement’s biggest star. He took on a Democratic incumbent and won, becoming the first black Republican elected to Congress from Florida since Reconstruction. In that same election cycle, Jennifer Carroll, a black state […]

Red Letter Date: Joseph Hatchett Makes History in the South

Joseph W. Hatchett is a man of many “firsts.” This one celebrates an accomplishment no black man before him in the South had ever accomplished. On November 2, 1976, then Florida Supreme Court Justice Hatchett ran a successful campaign to win election and keep his seat on the bench. Gov. Reuben Askew had appointed Hatchett […]