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Sometimes America can be messed up, but the rare bit of political diversity provides a glimmer of hope for engaging in a functionally flawed system. That hope comes in the form of the few African-American politicians who wield real power and can dictate public policy.

President Barack Obama signs the Civil Rights History Project Act of 2009

photo: WENN

Seeing unarmed people of color gunned down in the streets is the type of thing that makes you want to spell America with three Ks like Ice Cube once did.

Hopefully remembering the achievements of these 11 black politicians who made history will make you want to go hard in the voting booth. Hit the jump and remember these pioneers next time you exercise the right to vote.

Photo: WENN

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