Februray is Black History Month

The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. That September, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other peoples of African descent. Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures.February is Black History Month. It is a time to celebrate the accomplishments and heritage of black people in our nation.Its founder, historian Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson, along with his associate, Jesse E. Moorland, created the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, or ASALH) in 1915 to promote black history and recognize achievements of African Americans.As Frederick Douglass said: “If there is no struggle, there is not progress.” Black History Month helps to keep the struggle and progress alive.

What is African American history?
AfricanAmerican history is the time of American history that specifically discusses theAfricanAmerican or Black American ethnic groups in the United States. Most African Americans are the descendants of Africans forcibly brought to and held captive in the United States from 1555 to 1865.
Why is it called Black History Month?
Woodson chose the second week of February for Negro History Week because it marks the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced the black American population, Frederick Doug

How did Black History Month come to be?
February is observed as “Black History Month” in America. Its precursor, “Negro HistoryWeek,” was created by Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1926 and observed on the second week of February. A staunch Republican, Woodson choose that week in that month to honor the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.
Is it African American or Black History Month?
The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.
What is Black History Month?
Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month in America, is an annual observance in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom for remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora.
How long have black people been in the United States?
The first recorded Africans in British North America (including most of the future United States) were “20 and odd negroes” who came to Jamestown, Virginia via Cape Comfort in August 1619 as indentured servants. As English settlers died from harsh conditions, more and more Africans were brought to work as laborers.
When did black people get their freedom?
President Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation, which granted freedomto slaves in Confederate states, on New Year’s Day in 1863. Word didn’t reach theAfrican-American slaves of Galveston, Texas, until June 19, 1865, when a force of two-thousand Union soldiers arrived and informed them of their freedom.
What is the black culture?
AfricanAmerican culture. … AfricanAmerican culture, also known as BlackAmerican culture, in the United States refers to the cultural contributions of African Americans to the culture of the United States, either as part of or distinct from American culture.

Screening & Discussion

February 1

I Am Not Your Negro
Based on James Baldwin’s final and unpublished manuscript, Remember this House, Raoul Peck’s compelling new documentary I Am Not Your Negro presents Baldwin’s reflections on the assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King.

Panel Discussion

February 2

Questions For A Black History Maker
Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla D. Hayden will answer questions from District of Columbia school children.

Book Talk

February 14

“The Original Black Elite: Daniel Murray and the Story of a Forgotten Era”
Author Elizabeth Dowling Taylor will present a book talk on the experiences of an influential figure of the time, academic, entrepreneur, and political activist and black history pioneer Daniel Murray.

Book Talk

February 24

“The Social Impact of Prince Hall Freemasonry in the District of Columbia, 1825-1900”
Author A. Tehuti Evans will present a book talk on the Prince Hall Masons, an African American fraternal organization founded in 1775. The talk will be followed by a book signing for “The History of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, District of Columbia, 1823-2014“

Concert

February 26

A Celebration of Black Composers and Chamber Music Performed by Pershing’s Own
The U.S. Army Band, known as Pershing’s Own, will perform chamber music works by esteemed African American classical music composers including H. Leslie Adams, Valerie Coleman, David Sanford, Alvin Singleton and William Grant Still.

 A chronology of black history from the early slave trade through Affirmative Action
by Borgna Brunner
1619
1780s newspaper advertisement

Photograph of newspaper advertisement from the 1780s

The first African slaves arrive in Virginia.

1746 Lucy Terry, an enslaved person in 1746, becomes the earliest known black American poet when she writes about the last American Indian attack on her village of Deerfield, Massachusetts. Her poem, Bar’s Fight, is not published until 1855.
1773
Phillis Wheatley

An illustration of Phillis Wheatley from her book

Phillis Wheatley’s book Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral is published, making her the first African American to do so.

1787 Slavery is made illegal in the Northwest Territory. The U.S Constitution states that Congress may not ban the slave trade until 1808.
1793 Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin greatly increases the demand for slave labor.
1793
Poster advertising $100 reward for runaway slaves from 1860

Poster advertising $100 reward for runaway slaves from 1860

A federal fugitive slave law is enacted, providing for the return slaves who had escaped and crossed state lines.

1800 Gabriel Prosser, an enslaved African-American blacksmith, organizes a slave revolt intending to march on Richmond, Virginia. The conspiracy is uncovered, and Prosser and a number of the rebels are hanged. Virginia’s slave laws are consequently tightened.
1808 Congress bans the importation of slaves from Africa.
1820 The Missouri Compromise bans slavery north of the southern boundary of Missouri.
1822 Denmark Vesey, an enslaved African-American carpenter who had purchased his freedom, plans a slave revolt with the intent to lay siege on Charleston, South Carolina. The plot is discovered, and Vesey and 34 coconspirators are hanged.
1831 Nat Turner, an enslaved African-American preacher, leads the most significant slave uprising in American history. He and his band of followers launch a short, bloody, rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia. The militia quells the rebellion, and Turner is eventually hanged. As a consequence, Virginia institutes much stricter slave laws.

William Lloyd Garrison begins publishing the Liberator, a weekly paper that advocates the complete abolition of slavery. He becomes one of the most famous figures in the abolitionist movement.

1839 On July 2, 1839, 53 African slaves on board the slave ship the Amistad revolted against their captors, killing all but the ship’s navigator, who sailed them to Long Island, N.Y., instead of their intended destination, Africa. Joseph Cinqué was the group’s leader. The slaves aboard the ship became unwitting symbols for the antislavery movement in pre-Civil War United States. After several trials in which local and federal courts argued that the slaves were taken as kidnap victims rather than merchandise, the slaves were acquitted. The former slaves aboard the Spanish vessel Amistad secured passage home to Africa with the help of sympathetic missionary societies in 1842.
1846
Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass

The Wilmot Proviso, introduced by Democratic representative David Wilmot of Pennsylvania, attempts to ban slavery in territory gained in the Mexican War. The proviso is blocked by Southerners, but continues to enflame the debate over slavery.

Frederick Douglass launches his abolitionist newspaper.

1849
Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery and becomes one of the most effective and celebrated leaders of the Underground Railroad.

1850 The continuing debate whether territory gained in the Mexican War should be open to slavery is decided in the Compromise of 1850: California is admitted as a free state, Utah and New Mexicoterritories are left to be decided by popular sovereignty, and the slave trade in Washington, DC, is prohibited. It also establishes a much stricter fugitive slave law than the original, passed in 1793.
1852
Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin is published. It becomes one of the most influential works to stir anti-slavery sentiments.

1854 Congress passes the Kansas-Nebraska Act, establishing the territories of Kansas and Nebraska. The legislation repeals the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and renews tensions between anti- and proslavery factions.
1857
Oil painting of Dred Scott

Oil painting of Dred Scott

The Dred Scott case holds that Congress does not have the right to ban slavery in states and, furthermore, that slaves are not citizens.

1859 John Brown and 21 followers capture the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Va. (now W. Va.), in an attempt to launch a slave revolt.
1861 The Confederacy is founded when the deep South secedes, and the Civil War begins.
1863
Slaves at Cumberland Landing, Va.

Slaves at Cumberland Landing, Va.

President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring “that all persons held as slaves” within the Confederate states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”

1865 Congress establishes the Freedmen’s Bureau to protect the rights of newly emancipated blacks (March).

The Civil War ends (April 9).

Lincoln is assassinated (April 14).

The Ku Klux Klan is formed in Tennessee by ex-Confederates (May).

Slavery in the United States is effectively ended when 250,000 slaves in Texas finally receive the news that the Civil War had ended two months earlier (June 19).

Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, prohibiting slavery (Dec. 6).

1865-1866 Black codes are passed by Southern states, drastically restricting the rights of newly freed slaves.
1867 A series of Reconstruction acts are passed, carving the former Confederacy into five military districts and guaranteeing the civil rights of freed slaves.
1868 Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, defining citizenship. Individuals born or naturalized in the United States are American citizens, including those born as slaves. This nullifies the Dred Scott Case (1857), which had ruled that blacks were not citizens.
1869 Howard University’s law school becomes the country’s first black law school.
1870
Hiram Revels

Hiram Revels

Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, giving blacks the right to vote.

Hiram Revels of Mississippi is elected the country’s first African-American senator. During Reconstruction, sixteen blacks served in Congress and about 600 served in states legislatures.

1877 Reconstruction ends in the South. Federal attempts to provide some basic civil rights for African Americans quickly erode.
1879 The Black Exodus takes place, in which tens of thousands of African Americans migrated from southern states to Kansas.
1881 Spelman College, the first college for black women in the U.S., is founded by Sophia B. Packard and Harriet E. Giles.

Booker T. Washington founds the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Alabama. The school becomes one of the leading schools of higher learning for African Americans, and stresses the practical application of knowledge. In 1896, George Washington Carver begins teaching there as director of the department of agricultural research, gaining an international reputation for his agricultural advances.

1882 The American Colonization Society, founded by Presbyterian minister Robert Finley, establishes the colony of Monrovia (which would eventually become the country of Liberia) in western Africa. The society contends that the immigration of blacks to Africa is an answer to the problem of slavery as well as to what it feels is the incompatibility of the races. Over the course of the next forty years, about 12,000 slaves are voluntarily relocated.
1896 Plessy v. Ferguson: This landmark Supreme Court decision holds that racial segregation is constitutional, paving the way for the repressive Jim Crow laws in the South.
1905 W.E.B. DuBois founds the Niagara movement, a forerunner to the NAACP. The movement is formed in part as a protest to Booker T. Washington’s policy of accommodation to white society; the Niagara movement embraces a more radical approach, calling for immediate equality in all areas of American life.
1909
W.E.B. Du Bois

W.E.B. Du Bois

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peopleis founded in New York by prominent black and white intellectuals and led by W.E.B. Du Bois. For the next half century, it would serve as the country’s most influential African-American civil rights organization, dedicated to political equality and social justice In 1910, its journal, The Crisis, was launched. Among its well known leaders were James Weldon Johnson, Ella Baker,Moorfield Storey, Walter White, Roy Wilkins, Benjamin Hooks, Myrlie Evers-Williams, Julian Bond, and Kwesi Mfume.

1914 Marcus Garvey establishes the Universal Negro Improvement Association, an influential black nationalist organization “to promote the spirit of race pride” and create a sense of worldwide unity among blacks.
1920s The Harlem Renaissance flourishes in the 1920s and 1930s. This literary, artistic, and intellectual movement fosters a new black cultural identity.
1931
Scottsboro Boys

Scottsboro Boys

Nine black youths are indicted in Scottsboro, Ala., on charges of having raped two white women. Although the evidence was slim, the southern jury sentenced them to death. The Supreme Court overturns their convictions twice; each time Alabama retries them, finding them guilty. In a third trial, four of the Scottsboro boys are freed; but five are sentenced to long prison terms.

1947
Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson breaks Major League Baseball’s color barrier when he is signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers by Branch Rickey.

1948
WWI Black Soldiers

WWI Black Soldiers

Although African Americans had participated in every major U.S. war, it was not until after World War II that President Harry S. Truman issues an executive order integrating the U.S. armed forces.

1952 Malcolm X becomes a minister of the Nation of Islam. Over the next several years his influence increases until he is one of the two most powerful members of the Black Muslims (the other was its leader, Elijah Muhammad). A black nationalist and separatist movement, the Nation of Islam contends that only blacks can resolve the problems of blacks.
1954
Pictured from left to right: George E.C. Hayes, Thurgood Marshall, and James Nabrit

Pictured from left to right: George E.C. Hayes, Thurgood Marshall, and James Nabrit

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans. declares that racial segregation in schools is unconstitutional (May 17).

1955
Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks

A young black boy, Emmett Till, is brutally murdered for allegedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. Two white men charged with the crime are acquitted by an all-white jury. They later boast about committing the murder. The public outrage generated by the case helps spur the civil rights movement (Aug.).

Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat at the front of the “colored section” of a bus to a white passenger (Dec.1). In response to her arrest Montgomery’s black community launch a successful year-long bus boycott. Montgomery’s buses are desegregated on Dec. 21, 1956.

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1957
The Little Rock Nine pictured with Daisy Bates, the president of the Arkansas NAACP.

The Little Rock Nine

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), a civil rights group, is established by Martin Luther King, Charles K. Steele, and Fred L. Shuttlesworth (Jan.-Feb.)

Nine black students are blocked from entering the school on the orders of Governor Orval Faubus. (Sept. 24). Federal troops and the National Guard are called to intervene on behalf of the students, who become known as the “Little Rock Nine.” Despite a year of violent threats, several of the “Little Rock Nine” manage to graduate from Central High.

1960 Four black students in Greensboro, North Carolina, begin a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter (Feb. 1). Six months later the “Greensboro Four” are served lunch at the same Woolworth’s counter. The event triggers many similar nonviolent protests throughout the South.

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is founded, providing young blacks with a place in the civil rights movement (April).

1961 Over the spring and summer, student volunteers begin taking bus trips through the South to test out new laws that prohibit segregation in interstate travel facilities, which includes bus and railway stations. Several of the groups of “freedom riders,” as they are called, are attacked by angry mobs along the way. The program, sponsored by The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), involves more than 1,000 volunteers, black and white.

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1962
James Meredith

James Meredith

James Meredith becomes the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi (Oct. 1). President Kennedy sends 5,000 federal troops after rioting breaks out.

1963
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King is arrested and jailed during anti-segregation protests in Birmingham, Ala. He writes “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” which advocated nonviolent civil disobedience.

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom is attended by about 250,000 people, the largest demonstration ever seen in the nation’s capital. Martin Luther King delivers his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The march builds momentum for civil rightslegislation (Aug. 28).

Despite Governor George Wallace physically blocking their way, Vivian Malone and James Hood register for classes at the University of Alabama.

Four young black girls attending Sunday school are killed when a bomb explodes at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, a popular location for civil rights meetings. Riots erupt in Birmingham, leading to the deaths of two more black youths (Sept. 15).

1964
FBI photographs of Andrew Goodman, James Earl Chaney, and Michael Schwerner

FBI photographs of Andrew Goodman, James Earl Chaney, and Michael Schwerner

President Johnsonsigns the Civil Rights Act, the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. It prohibits discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin (July 2).

The bodies of three civil-rights workers are found. Murdered by the KKK, James E. Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner had been working to register black voters in Mississippi (Aug.).

Martin Luther King receives the Nobel Peace Prize. (Oct.)

Sidney Poitier wins the Best Actor Oscar for his role in Lilies of the Field. He is the first African American to win the award.

1965
Malcolm X

Malcolm X

Malcolm X, black nationalist and founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity, is assassinated (Feb. 21).

State troopers violently attack peaceful demonstrators led by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., as they try to cross the Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. Fifty marchers are hospitalized on “Bloody Sunday,” after police use tear gas, whips, and clubs against them. The march is considered the catalyst for pushing through the voting rights act five months later (March 7).

Congress passes the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it easier for Southern blacks to register to vote. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and other such requirements that were used to restrict black voting are made illegal (Aug. 10).

In six days of rioting in Watts, a black section of Los Angeles, 35 people are killed and 883 injured (Aug. 11-16).

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1966
Members of The Black Panthers Party

Members of The Black Panthers Party: Bobby Seale and Huey Newton

The Black Panthers are founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale (Oct.).

1967
Thurgood Marshall

Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall

Stokely Carmichael, a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), coins the phrase “black power” in a speech in Seattle (April 19).

Major race riots take place in Newark (July 12-16) and Detroit (July 23-30).

President Johnson appoints Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court. He becomes the first black Supreme Court Justice.

The Supreme Court rules in Loving v. Virginia that prohibiting interracial marriage is unconstitutional. Sixteen states still have anti-miscegenation laws and are forced to revise them.

1968
Eyewitnesses to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Eyewitnesses to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr., is assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. (April 4).

President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing (April 11).

Shirley Chisholm becomes the first black female U.S. Representative. A Democrat from New York, she was elected in November and served from 1969 to 1983.

1972 The infamous Tuskegee Syphilis experiment ends. Begun in 1932, the U.S. Public Health Service’s 40-year experiment on 399 black men in the late stages of syphilis has been described as an experiment that “used human beings as laboratory animals in a long and inefficient study of how long it takes syphilis to kill someone.”
1978 The Supreme Court case, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke upheld the constitutionality of affirmative action, but imposed limitations on it to ensure that providing greater opportunities for minorities did not come at the expense of the rights of the majority (June 28).
1983 Guion Bluford Jr. was the first African-American in space. He took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on the space shuttle Challenger on August 30.
1992 The first race riots in decades erupt in south-central Los Angeles after a jury acquits four white police officers for the videotaped beating of African-American Rodney King (April 29).

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2001 Colin Powell becomes the first African American U.S. Secretary of State.

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2002 Halle Berry becomes the first African American woman to win the Best Actress Oscar. She takes home the statue for her role in Monster’s Ball. Denzel Washington, the star of Training Day, earns the Best Actor award, making it the first year that African-Americans win both the best actor and actress Oscars.

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2003 In Grutter v. Bollinger, the most important affirmative action decision since the 1978 Bakkecase, the Supreme Court (5–4) upholds the University of Michigan Law School’s policy, ruling that race can be one of many factors considered by colleges when selecting their students because it furthers “a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body.” (June 23)
2005 Condoleezza Rice becomes the first black female U.S. Secretary of State.

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2006 In Parents v. Seattle and Meredith v. Jefferson, affirmative action suffers a setback when a bitterly divided court rules, 5 to 4, that programs in Seattle and Louisville, Ky., which tried to maintain diversity in schools by considering race when assigning students to schools, are unconstitutional.
2008 Sen. Barack Obama, Democrat from Chicago, becomes the first African American to be nominated as a major party nominee for president.

On November 4, Barack Obama, becomes the first African American to be elected president of the United States, defeating Republican candidate, Sen. John McCain.

2009 Barack Obama Democrat from Chicago, becomes the first African-American president and the country’s 44th president.

On February 2, the U.S. Senate confirms, with a vote of 75 to 21, Eric H. Holder, Jr., as Attorney General of the United States. Holder is the first African American to serve as Attorney General.

2014 On Aug. 9, Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old was shot and killed in Ferguson, Mo., by Darren Wilson. On Nov. 24, the grand jury decision not to indict Wilson was announced, sparking protests in Ferguson and cities across the U.S., including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Boston.

The protests continued to spread throughout the country after a Staten Island grand jury decided in December not to indict Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner. Garner died after being placed in a chokehold by Pantaleo in July.

2015 The 114th Congress includes 46 black members in the House of Representatives and two in the Senate.

African American History Timeline:

1619 The first African American indentured servants arrive in the American colonies. Less than a decade later, the first slaves are brought into New Amsterdam (later, New York City). By 1690, every colony has slaves.
1739 The Stono Rebellion, one of the earliest slave revolts, occurs in Stono, South Carolina.
1793 Eli Whitney’s (1765 – 1825) cotton gin increases the need for slaves.
1808 Congress bans further importation of slaves.
1831 In Boston, William Lloyd Garrison (1805 – 1879) begins publication of the anti-slavery newspaper the Liberator and becomes a leading voice in the Abolitionist movement.
1831 – 1861 Approximately 75,000 slaves escape to the North using the Underground Railroad.
1846 Ex-slave Frederick Douglass (1818 – 1895) publishes the anti-slavery North Star newspaper.
1848 Augustus Saint Gaudens (1848 – 1907) is born in Ireland. His family soon emigrates to the United States.
1849 Harriet Tubman (c. 1820 – 1913) escapes from slavery and becomes an instrumental leader of the Underground Railroad.
1850 Congress passes another Fugitive Slave Act, which mandates government participation in the capture of escaped slaves. Boston citizens, including some of the wealthiest, storm a federal courthouse in an attempt to free escaped Virginia slave Anthony Burns (1834 – 1862).
1857 The Dred Scot v. Sanford case: congress does not have the right to ban slavery in the states; slaves are not citizens.
1860 Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865) is elected president, angering the southern states.
1861 The Civil War begins.
1863 Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation proclaims that all slaves in rebellious territories are forever free.
1863 Massachusetts 54th regiment of African American troops led by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (1837 – 1863) marches out of Boston on May 28th, heading into combat.
1865 The Civil War ends. Lincoln is assassinated. Seventeen-year-old Augustus Saint Gaudens is so moved by the sight of Lincoln’s body lying in state that he views it twice. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting slavery, is ratified. The era of Reconstruction begins.
1866 The “Black Codes” are passed by all white legislators of the former Confederate States. Congress passes the Civil Rights Act, conferring citizenship on African Americans and granting them equal rights to whites. The Ku Klux Klan is formed in Tennessee.
1868 The 14th Amendment is ratified, defining citizenship. This overturns the Dred Scot decision. 1870 The 15th Amendment is ratified, giving African Americans the right to vote.
1877 The era of Reconstruction ends. A deal is made with southern democratic leaders which makes Rutherford B. Hayes (1822 – 1893) president in exchange for the withdrawal of federal troops from the South, and puts an end to efforts to protect the civil rights of African Americans.
1879 Thousands of African Americans migrate out of the South to escape oppression.
1881 Tennessee passes the first of the “Jim Crow” segregation laws, segregating state railroads. Similar laws are passed over the next 15 years throughout the Southern states.
1887 Augustus Saint Gaudens unveils the “Standing Lincoln” statue in Lincoln Park, Chicago.
1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case: racial segregation is ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court. The “Jim Crow” (“separate but equal”) laws begin, barring African Americans from equal access to public facilities.
1897 Augustus Saint Gaudens unveils the Shaw Memorial in Boston Common.
1954 Brown v. Board of Education case: strikes down segregation as unconstitutional.
1955 In Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks (1913 – 2005) is arrested for breaking a city ordinance by refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man. This defiant act gives initial momentum to the Civil Rights Movement.
1957 Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968) and others set up the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a leading engine of the Civil Rights Movement.
1964 The Civil Rights Act is signed, prohibiting discrimination of all kinds.
1965 The Voting Rights Act is passed, outlawing the practices used in the South to disenfranchise African American voters.
1967 Edward W. Brooke (1919 – ) becomes the first African American U.S. Senator since Reconstruction. He serves two terms as a Senator from Massachusetts.
1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
2008 Barack Obama (1961 – ) becomes the first African American to win the U.S. presidential race.

 Books That Every African American Should Read

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

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