January 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: William 'Mo' Cowan Makes History as a Blackman in the U.S. Senate

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All - Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) on Wednesday appointed William "Mo" Cowan to the Senate seat vacated by newly confirmed Secretary of State John Kerry. Cowan will hold the seat in an interim capacity until an election in June.

Cowan, 43, is a former chief of staff and former legal counsel to Patrick. Like Patrick, who grew up on the South Side of Chicago before attending Milton Academy, Harvard and Harvard Law, Cowan came from a poor background to Boston for education and made a career there. After growing up in poverty in rural North Carolina, Cowan went to Duke University and then Northeastern University School of Law. He never left, and became a prominent Boston lawyer.

Cowan's appointment means that there will be two Black senators serving together for the first time in American history. Neither were elected -- Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) was appointed in December after former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) left the chamber in the middle of his term.

Patrick, the state's first African American governor, said recently on local cable television that it was a priority for him to pick a woman or a person of color for the seat.