“We have been inclusive since the mid-1800s,” said Wayne Ford, a seven-term state legislator from Des Moines and the state’s longest serving black representative. “People here can look at a person’s message or athletic ability more than the color of their skin.”
Ford referred to an Iowa Civil Rights timeline he compiled to back his point, from the Territorial Supreme Court ruling that fugitive slaves were free in 1839, to Iowa becoming the first northern state to give black men the right to vote after the Civil War.
He explains, too, that the Iowa Constitution was amended in 1880 to allow black men to serve in the Iowa General Assembly.
Read the entire article at the Des Moines Register.