October 14, 2009 — In 2006, just over a year after earning his bachelor's degree from Morehouse College, Bakari Sellers was elected to the South Carolina General Assembly. He was 22.
As one of the youngest legislators in the nation, already serving his second term in the state House of Representatives, he is one of the most closely watched young African-American leaders in the country.
On Oct. 20 at 5:30 p.m., Sellers will address the Jefferson Society at the University of Virginia on the topic: "How far have we come and where do we go from here?" His talk in Hotel C of the West Range (Jefferson Hall) is free and open to the public and will be followed by a general discussion.
In addition to delivering this public speech, Sellers will participate in U.Va.'s Explorations in Black Leadership project, co-directed by history professors Julian Bond and Phyllis Leffler.
While serving in the legislature and earning a law degree from the University of South Carolina (he graduated in 2008), Sellers, a Democrat, also served on the South Carolina steering committee for Barack Obama's presidential campaign.
He is the son of well-known civil-rights activist Cleveland Sellers, now serving as president of Voorhees College, a private, historically black college in South Carolina.
Gwen Ifill, in her recent book "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama," writes that Sellers was "raised on breakthrough politics" and "sees the world through a prism different from the one that shaped his father's experiences" in the Civil Rights Movement.