The claim: Historians do not teach that the first Black members of Congress were Republicans
A viral meme, posted on Instagram, features a well-known lithograph of the first Black members of Congress, with a bold statement.
“History not taught,” it says. “The first 23 Black congressmen were Republican.”
“You won’t be taught this,” wrote Ryan Fournier, the co-chair of Students for Trump, whose watermark appears on the meme, on his Instagram account. “The Republicans were the anti-slavery party.”
It is mostly accurate that the Republican Party formed to oppose the extension of slavery, although up until the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, Abraham Lincoln and other Republicans pledged not to interfere with slavery in states where it existed. And the first 23 African Americans in Congress did belong to the Republican Party, due to the GOP’s support of voting rights and the Democratic Party’s embrace of white supremacy.