Charles Diggs, Jr. was a pioneering African-American politician who made his mark in the history of the United States. Born on December 2, 1922, in Detroit, Michigan, Diggs was the only son of Charles Diggs, Sr., a successful businessman in the African-American community. Growing up, Diggs was exposed to the realities of racial discrimination and segregation in America. Despite these challenges, he excelled in his studies and went on to attend Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. After completing his studies, Diggs returned to Detroit and joined his father’s business.
However, Diggs’ passion for politics soon led him to run for public office. In 1950, he was elected to the Michigan State Senate, becoming the first African American to hold that position. He served in the State Senate for four years before running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1954, Diggs was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan’s 13th Congressional District. He went on to serve 13 consecutive terms in Congress, making him one of the longest-serving African-American members of Congress in history.
During his time in Congress, Diggs was a strong advocate for civil rights and social justice. He was a vocal critic of the Vietnam War and worked tirelessly to advance the cause of African Americans in Congress and throughout the country. In 1978, Diggs’ career came to a sudden end when he was convicted of mail fraud and sentenced to three years in prison. Despite this setback, Diggs remained committed to his community and continued to work for social justice until his death in 1998.
Today, Charles Diggs, Jr. is remembered as a trailblazer and a champion for civil rights and social justice. His legacy serves as an inspiration to all those who seek to make a positive impact on their communities and the world around them.