A Brief History of Blacks in Government

For over a century, African-Americans have served as workers in the U.S. government. Despite periods of segregation and overall adversity in this sector, African-Americans have used their employment to improve their professional and financial standings. According to the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau report, more than 20% of the Black working population over 16 years old are employees of the federal, state or local government.

Today, African-Americans employed in government positions face new yet familiar challenges. The organization, Blacks in Government, was created to overcome these challenges and pave the way for future African-American government professionals.

Who is Blacks in Government?
Read more about the history of the organization in this excerpt from their website.

Blacks In Government® (BIG) was established in 1975 and incorporated in 1976 by a small group of African Americans at the Public Health Services which is a part of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare in the Parklawn building in Rockville, Maryland. The organization was viewed as essential to the Black civil service employee, based on a wide assortment of racially motivated problems faced by the HEW Black employees in Rockville. Initially, it was thought that the umbrella organization would address only the problems at the Federal level. However, it was soon determined that State, County, and Municipal Black employees were faced with the same general type of employment problems.

Nonetheless, Blacks In Government was organized in 1975 and incorporated as a non-profit organization under the District of Columbia jurisdiction in 1976. BIG has been a national response to the need for African Americans in public service to organize around issues of mutual concern and use their collective strength to confront workplace and community issues. BIG’s goals are to promote EQUITY in all aspects of American life, EXCELLENCE in public service, and OPPORTUNITY for all Americans.

CLICK HERE to donate to Blacks in Government.

Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White is Director of Digital Strategy for the Tom Joyner Foundation, a writer and editor.

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