When Jim Demint's replacement was announced it was said he would be the first black Senator since reconstruction. Well, maybe the first black Senator from South Carolina since reconstruction. But we had Ed Brooks, from Massachusetts, black Republican Senator.
Why Republican? My perception is that it's really difficult to get to a Democrat nomination as a black because of the numbers of blacks who support and vote for Democrats. There's a lot more opportunity in the Republican Party.
Too bad Republican blacks have to suffer the ignorant slander from Democrats when they do exactly what blacks should prefer they do, i.e., whatever is necessary to gain positions of influence and real political power.