President Obama heads voters’ list of minority trailblazers – News – The State Journal-Register

The nation’s first African-American president heads the list of minority trailblazers selected in the Illinois Top 200 project, followed by two Native American rivals, a Chicago mayor and a groundbreaking diplomat and cabinet secretary.

Barack Obama, who rose from community organizer to senator to president during his time in Illinois, was the top pick in online voting conducted as part of the celebration of the state’s 200th birthday.

He was followed by Black Hawk, the Sauk warrior who fought American expansion into Illinois, and Chief Keokuk, a rival who gave up land to avoid bloodshed as settlers arrived.

The top five also includes Harold Washington, Chicago’s first African-American mayor, and Patricia Roberts Harris, the first African-American woman to become an ambassador…

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