From Slave To State Legislator

Even close followers of Illinois state government might be hard pressed to name the first African American member of the General Assembly.  But a new book traces the life of John W.E. Thomas.

David Joens, who is also the Director of the Illinois State Archives,  is the author of “From Slave To State Legislator: John W.E. Thomas – Illinois’ First African American Lawmaker.”

Joens spoke with WUIS’ Sean Crawford.   He says Thomas started out a slave in the south….


Joens will speak Wednesday afternoon from noon to 1:30 at the Public Affairs Center at UIS.  Students, faculty, staff and others are invited.  The brown bag presentation also features Ed Wojcicki, who recently co-authored a book on former State Senate President Phil Rock.

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