Cleaver, the group's first vice chairman, will replace Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., in January for the two-year chairman term, the caucus said. Lee will remain with the 42-member group.
"I am humbled and honored by my colleagues' support, and I plan to prove myself worthy of their endorsement," said Cleaver, a United Methodist minister.
"Regardless of which party controls the House of Representatives, the Congressional Black Caucus will never retreat from our commitment to create Opportunities for All -- Pathways Out of Poverty," Lee said.
The caucus describes its vision as helping to create "a world in which the black community is free of all disparities and able to contribute fully to advancing the common good."