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Alabama A&M grad is now Wisconsin’s lieutenant governor

He grew up in Milwaukee but followed in his mom’s footsteps as a Bulldog

7:00 AMAn HBCU graduate has made history as the first African-American elected lieutenant governor in Wisconsin.

Mandela Barnes graduated from Alabama A&M University with a bachelor’s in telecommunications in 2008. He won the lieutenant governor seat after his running mate, Tony Evers, earned victory in the governor’s race against Republican incumbent Scott Walker.

He developed a passion for politics, although he has a communications degree, according to Al.com. He worked for different political campaigns as well as the office of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Eventually, he became an organizer for Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope (M.I.C.A.H.), which advocates for social justice.

His decision to attend AAMU stemmed from his desire to follow in his mother’s footsteps, according to Al.com. His mother graduated from AAMU, and the family still makes it a tradition to attend the McDonald’s Magic City Classic, when AAMU’s Bulldogs face Alabama State in Birmingham each year. The game remains the biggest historically black college or university (HBCU) football event in Alabama.

“People always ask if HBCUs are still relevant, and I always said, ‘Yes, definitely.’ It’s a part of the culture,” Barnes said. “Everybody in Alabama, everybody in Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, they all know somebody who is in college going to school regardless of living conditions.”

Barnes has experience that makes him more than qualified for the position as lieutenant governor. In 2012, he ran for Wisconsin State Assembly District 11 and won his seat. Then he was re-elected in 2014 without facing a challenge in the primary or general election. During his time in office, he authored pieces of legislation.

Sheila Stubbs, the first black person elected to a legislative seat from Wisconsin’s Dane County, offered insight about Barnes’ historic win. She believes that his win is a sign that “people are looking for change.”

Mandela was not the only Alabama HBCU graduate who made history this election. Birmingham native and Miles College graduate Danny Carr became the first African-American to be elected the Jefferson County, Alabama, district attorney.

Wisconsin does not have any HBCUs, so the choice to attend AAMU allowed him to receive higher education and to become immersed in black culture.

“Being from Milwaukee, you don’t get that same experience,” Barnes said to Al.com. “Even if you didn’t go to an HBCU, people go to the Classic. People go to homecoming. That whole social attachment in higher education, it’s just not the same in every community, especially in black communities where HBCUs don’t exist.”

During his time at AAMU, he became well-involved on campus. He became a member of the Gamma Phi chapter of Kappa Alpha Phi fraternity.

“Our whole chapter couldn’t be more happy for our brother,” said Roderick McCloud, a member of the Gamma Phi chapter.

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7:00 AMAn HBCU graduate has made history as the first African-American elected lieutenant governor in Wisconsin.

Mandela Barnes graduated from Alabama A&M University with a bachelor’s in telecommunications in 2008. He won the lieutenant governor seat after his running mate, Tony Evers, earned victory in the governor’s race against Republican incumbent Scott Walker.

He developed a passion for politics, although he has a communications degree, according to Al.com. He worked for different political campaigns as well as the office of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Eventually, he became an organizer for Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope (M.I.C.A.H.), which advocates for social justice.

His decision to attend AAMU stemmed from his desire to follow in his mother’s footsteps, according to Al.com. His mother graduated from AAMU, and the family still makes it a tradition to attend the McDonald’s Magic City Classic, when AAMU’s Bulldogs face Alabama State in Birmingham each year. The game remains the biggest historically black college or university (HBCU) football event in Alabama.

“People always ask if HBCUs are still relevant, and I always said, ‘Yes, definitely.’ It’s a part of the culture,” Barnes said. “Everybody in Alabama, everybody in Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, they all know somebody who is in college going to school regardless of living conditions.”

Barnes has experience that makes him more than qualified for the position as lieutenant governor. In 2012, he ran for Wisconsin State Assembly District 11 and won his seat. Then he was re-elected in 2014 without facing a challenge in the primary or general election. During his time in office, he authored pieces of legislation.

Sheila Stubbs, the first black person elected to a legislative seat from Wisconsin’s Dane County, offered insight about Barnes’ historic win. She believes that his win is a sign that “people are looking for change.”

Mandela was not the only Alabama HBCU graduate who made history this election. Birmingham native and Miles College graduate Danny Carr became the first African-American to be elected the Jefferson County, Alabama, district attorney.

Wisconsin does not have any HBCUs, so the choice to attend AAMU allowed him to receive higher education and to become immersed in black culture.

“Being from Milwaukee, you don’t get that same experience,” Barnes said to Al.com. “Even if you didn’t go to an HBCU, people go to the Classic. People go to homecoming. That whole social attachment in higher education, it’s just not the same in every community, especially in black communities where HBCUs don’t exist.”

During his time at AAMU, he became well-involved on campus. He became a member of the Gamma Phi chapter of Kappa Alpha Phi fraternity.

“Our whole chapter couldn’t be more happy for our brother,” said Roderick McCloud, a member of the Gamma Phi chapter.

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7:00 AMAn HBCU graduate has made history as the first African-American elected lieutenant governor in Wisconsin.

Mandela Barnes graduated from Alabama A&M University with a bachelor’s in telecommunications in 2008. He won the lieutenant governor seat after his running mate, Tony Evers, earned victory in the governor’s race against Republican incumbent Scott Walker.

He developed a passion for politics, although he has a communications degree, according to Al.com. He worked for different political campaigns as well as the office of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Eventually, he became an organizer for Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope (M.I.C.A.H.), which advocates for social justice.

His decision to attend AAMU stemmed from his desire to follow in his mother’s footsteps, according to Al.com. His mother graduated from AAMU, and the family still makes it a tradition to attend the McDonald’s Magic City Classic, when AAMU’s Bulldogs face Alabama State in Birmingham each year. The game remains the biggest historically black college or university (HBCU) football event in Alabama.

“People always ask if HBCUs are still relevant, and I always said, ‘Yes, definitely.’ It’s a part of the culture,” Barnes said. “Everybody in Alabama, everybody in Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, they all know somebody who is in college going to school regardless of living conditions.”

Barnes has experience that makes him more than qualified for the position as lieutenant governor. In 2012, he ran for Wisconsin State Assembly District 11 and won his seat. Then he was re-elected in 2014 without facing a challenge in the primary or general election. During his time in office, he authored pieces of legislation.

Sheila Stubbs, the first black person elected to a legislative seat from Wisconsin’s Dane County, offered insight about Barnes’ historic win. She believes that his win is a sign that “people are looking for change.”

Mandela was not the only Alabama HBCU graduate who made history this election. Birmingham native and Miles College graduate Danny Carr became the first African-American to be elected the Jefferson County, Alabama, district attorney.

Wisconsin does not have any HBCUs, so the choice to attend AAMU allowed him to receive higher education and to become immersed in black culture.

“Being from Milwaukee, you don’t get that same experience,” Barnes said to Al.com. “Even if you didn’t go to an HBCU, people go to the Classic. People go to homecoming. That whole social attachment in higher education, it’s just not the same in every community, especially in black communities where HBCUs don’t exist.”

During his time at AAMU, he became well-involved on campus. He became a member of the Gamma Phi chapter of Kappa Alpha Phi fraternity.

“Our whole chapter couldn’t be more happy for our brother,” said Roderick McCloud, a member of the Gamma Phi chapter.

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7:00 AMAn HBCU graduate has made history as the first African-American elected lieutenant governor in Wisconsin.

Mandela Barnes graduated from Alabama A&M University with a bachelor’s in telecommunications in 2008. He won the lieutenant governor seat after his running mate, Tony Evers, earned victory in the governor’s race against Republican incumbent Scott Walker.

He developed a passion for politics, although he has a communications degree, according to Al.com. He worked for different political campaigns as well as the office of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Eventually, he became an organizer for Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope (M.I.C.A.H.), which advocates for social justice.

His decision to attend AAMU stemmed from his desire to follow in his mother’s footsteps, according to Al.com. His mother graduated from AAMU, and the family still makes it a tradition to attend the McDonald’s Magic City Classic, when AAMU’s Bulldogs face Alabama State in Birmingham each year. The game remains the biggest historically black college or university (HBCU) football event in Alabama.

“People always ask if HBCUs are still relevant, and I always said, ‘Yes, definitely.’ It’s a part of the culture,” Barnes said. “Everybody in Alabama, everybody in Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, they all know somebody who is in college going to school regardless of living conditions.”

Barnes has experience that makes him more than qualified for the position as lieutenant governor. In 2012, he ran for Wisconsin State Assembly District 11 and won his seat. Then he was re-elected in 2014 without facing a challenge in the primary or general election. During his time in office, he authored pieces of legislation.

Sheila Stubbs, the first black person elected to a legislative seat from Wisconsin’s Dane County, offered insight about Barnes’ historic win. She believes that his win is a sign that “people are looking for change.”

Mandela was not the only Alabama HBCU graduate who made history this election. Birmingham native and Miles College graduate Danny Carr became the first African-American to be elected the Jefferson County, Alabama, district attorney.

Wisconsin does not have any HBCUs, so the choice to attend AAMU allowed him to receive higher education and to become immersed in black culture.

“Being from Milwaukee, you don’t get that same experience,” Barnes said to Al.com. “Even if you didn’t go to an HBCU, people go to the Classic. People go to homecoming. That whole social attachment in higher education, it’s just not the same in every community, especially in black communities where HBCUs don’t exist.”

During his time at AAMU, he became well-involved on campus. He became a member of the Gamma Phi chapter of Kappa Alpha Phi fraternity.

“Our whole chapter couldn’t be more happy for our brother,” said Roderick McCloud, a member of the Gamma Phi chapter.