Even close followers of Illinois state government might be hard pressed to name the first African American member of the General Assembly. But a new book traces the life of John WE Thomas. Author David Joens, who is also the Director of the Illinois State Archives, says Thomas' story is one worth telling. He spoke with IPR's Sean Crawford. Joens says Thomas started out a slave in the south:
That's David Joens, author of the book "From Slave To State Legislator: John WE Thomas - Illinois' First African American Lawmaker."
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