In 1967, Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993) became the first black justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
As the black residents of central-city areas became sizable minorities, and sometimes majorities, of the voting population, black candidates were able to win local elections.
In 1967, Carl Stokes became the first black mayor of a major U.S. city, Cleveland, Ohio. Other black mayors followed: Richard Hatcher (Gary, Indiana), Thomas Bradley (Los Angeles, California), and Maynard Jackson (Atlanta, Georgia). Throughout the decade, black mayors were elected in Newark, New Jersey; Washington, D.C.; New Orleans, Louisiana; and other cities.
By 1975, there were 135 black mayors in the United States. In 1975, there were 3,503 blacks holding elected offices in forty-five states, an increase of 88 percent since 1970.
African American legislators organized the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971, giving black U.S. representatives a way to address the needs of all minorities.
The National Black Political Convention, held in Gary, Indiana, in 1972, marked an effort to broaden black discussions of political alternatives. It was attended by 8,000 delegates.
In 1976, Andrew Young was appointed U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Young thus became the highest-ranking black diplomat in the history of the United States and the first black ambassador to hold a cabinet-level position.