The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus evolved as an informal organization in 1976 and remained that way for three years, which was consistent of racial legislative caucuses in other states at that time. The early members included Representatives Robert Clark, Horace Buckley, Fred Banks, and Doug Anderson. Hillman Frazier, who currently serves as a Mississippi State Senator, joined the group as a volunteer staff member.
Robert Clark, a schoolteacher in Holmes County, became the first Black to be elected to the Mississippi State Legislature during the 20th Century. His election was a by-product of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 combined with strong mobilization efforts of local leaders and organizations, particularly the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and the NAACP. African American citizens in Mississippi had been disenfranchised for nearly 100 years prior to the federal civil rights legislation. Thus, no African American had served in the state legislature between 1896 and 1967.
The caucus was formally established in 1980 after an increase of 19 African American legislators. Representative Robert Clark was the first chair of the organization, followed by Representative Fred Banks as the second chair.
The caucus is supported by the Political Education and Economic Development Foundation. The first chair of this foundation was Representative Charles Young. One of the main fundraising events is an annual banquet in which proceeds are used to fund scholarships for students attending historically Black colleges and universities in the state of Mississippi.
*This short summary are excerpts of Black Legislative Politics in Mississippi by Dr. Byron D. Orey (2000). https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/poliscifacpub/5