A Look at Other Black Presidential Candidates Before Obama

Compiled by the US News Library Staff.


Shirley Chisholm. A New York teacher elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Chisholm unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972. She did get the most convention votes for a female candidate in U.S. history.

Jesse Jackson. Jackson campaigned for the Democratic nomination twice, in 1984 and 1988. These runs secured his place as the pre-eminent black American leader of the era.

Lenora Fulani. In 1988, Fulani—a psychologist—ran as an independent and was the first black woman to appear on presidential ballots in all 50 states. She also ran in 1992.

Alan Keyes. Having served in the Reagan administration, Keyes campaigned for the Republican nomination in 1996 and 2000 (and also lost to Barack Obama in their race for a Senate seat in 2004).

Carol Moseley Braun. A U.S. senator, Moseley Braun briefly sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004.

Al Sharpton. In 2004, this New York-based activist campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination.