Jan. 3, 1955: Charles C. Diggs becomes Michigan first black Congressman

On this day in 1955, Charles C. Diggs, Jr., a Miller High School graduate, takes an oath and becomes a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

He holds the distinction of being Michigan’s first African-American to serve in Congress and only the third black man on the current 435-member House roster, joining Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. of New York and William L. Dawson of Chicago. Diggs, a 32-year-old mortician and former state senator, is assigned to the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs and the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman, the author of On this Day: African-American Life in Detroit, is a native Detroiter and former news reporter. He served on the Detroit Charter Revision Commission. He lives in Detroit with his wife, Kim Trent, and their son, Jackson Coleman.