Build Up Without Tearing Down

Person to Know
Hiram Rhodes Revesl
Original Publication
February 24, 2019
Last Updated
Jan 16, 2023 3:42 AM
Quotes to Live ByManGovernment OfficialReligious LeaderEducation

During the canvass in the State of Mississippi, I traveled into different parts of that state, and this is the doctrine that I everywhere uttered: that while I was in favor of building up the colored race, I was not in favor of tearing down the white race. 🧔🏾‍♂️ Hiram Rhodes Revels

Hiram Rhodes Revels (1822-1901) was the first black person to be elected to the U.S. Senate. Rev. Revels ran on a platform that tried to gain ground for black citizens without causing friction between the races; so not only did he advocate for the desegregation of schools and railroads, he also supported restoring the rights of ex-Confederates. After serving as a Senator, he became the president of Alcorn A&M.

Despite being born in Fayetteville, NC in 1822, Rev. Revels was never a slave; he was born to free parents. He moved to free states to receive his education, where he would eventually be ordained in the AME church. Before the civil war started, he was a both a pastor and principal. Once the Civil War began, he helped create volunteer regiments of black men for the Union army. He served as chaplain for a regiment serving in Mississippi. After the war, he stayed in Mississippi where he would go on to make history as the first black person to be elected to the U.S. Senate. Mississippi would go on to elect Blanche Kelso Bruce, a former slave, as the 2nd black person in Senate only a few years later.

The “Quotes to Live By” series was originally posted to my Instagram in 2019. Due to the original medium, these posts are fairly short and not meant to be exhausted biographies.


1. Hiram R. Revels". Encyclopædia Britannica; visited February 2019

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