African American History

By iley
  • First African slaves arrive in Virginia

    First African slaves arrive in Virginia
  • Invention of the cotton gin

    Invention of the cotton gin
    The first modern mechanical cotton gin was created by American inventor Eli Whitney in 1793, and patented in 1794. It used a combination of a wire screen and small wire hooks to pull the cotton through, while brushes continuously removed the loose cotton lint to prevent jams. Whitney's gin revolutionised the cotton industry in the United States, but also led to the growth of slavery in the American South as the demand for cotton workers rapidly increased.
  • Fugitive Slave Act of 1793

    Fugitive Slave Act of 1793
    The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 was an Act of the United States Congress to give effect to the Fugitive Slave Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article 4, Section 2, Clause 3 Note: Superseded by the Thirteenth Amendment) guaranteed the right of a slaveholder to recover an escaped slave. The Act's title was "An Act respecting fugitives from justice, and persons escaping from the service of their masters" and created the legal mechanism by which that could be accomplished.
  • The Missouri Compromise

    The Missouri Compromise
    The Missouri Compromise was passed in 1820 between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States Congress, involving primarily the regulation of slavery in the western territories. It prohibited slavery in the former Louisiana Territory north of the parallel 36°30′ north except within the boundaries of the proposed state of Missouri. The 1820 passage of Missouri Compromise took place during the presidency of James Monroe.
  • Amistad Revolt

    Amistad Revolt
    In January 1839, 53 African natives were kidnapped from eastern Africa and sold into the Spanish slave trade. They were then placed aboard a Spanish slave ship bound for Havana, Cuba.
    Once in Havana, the Africans were classified as native Cuban slaves and purchased at auction by two Spaniards, Don Jose Ruiz and Don Pedro Montez. The two planned to move the slaves to another part of Cuba. The slaves were shackled and loaded aboard the cargo schooler Amistad (Spanish for "friendship").
  • Underground railroad

    Underground railroad
    The Underground Railroad was an informal escape network that helped fugitive slaves reach freedom. Also called the Liberty Line, this loosely organized system was neither "underground" nor a "railroad." Rather, it was a network of escape routes that originated in the southern slave states in the period of American history that led up to the Civil War. The railroad led the slaves to freedom in the northern free states, Canada, Mexico, the western territories, and the Caribbean.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin
    Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly, is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in 1852, the novel "helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War", according to Will Kaufman.
  • Dred Scott case

    Dred Scott case
    Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857), was a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court held that African Americans, whether slave or free, could not be American citizens and therefore had no standing to sue in federal court, and that the federal government had no power to regulate slavery in the federal territories acquired after the creation of the United States.
  • Beginning of the American civil war

    Beginning of the American civil war
    The American Civil War, also known as the War Between the States, or simply the Civil War in the United States (see naming), was a civil war fought from 1861 to 1865, after seven Southern slave states declared their secession and formed the Confederate States of America (the "Confederacy" or the "South"). The states that remained in the Union were known as the "Union" or the "North".
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    The Emancipation Proclamation was a presidential proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, as a war measure during the American Civil War, directed to all areas in rebellion and all segments of the Executive branch (including the Army and Navy) of the United States. It proclaimed the freedom of slaves in the ten states that were still in rebellion, thus applying to 3 million of the 4 million slaves in the U.S. at the time.
  • Black Codes

    Black Codes
    In the United States, the most notorious Black Codes were laws passed by Southern states in 1865 and 1866, after the Civil War. These laws had the intent and the effect of restricting African Americans' freedom, and of compelling them to work in a labor economy based on low wages or debt.
  • 14th Amendment

    14th Amendment
    The Fourteenth Amendment (Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. The amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws, and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War. The amendment was bitterly contested, particularly by Southern states, which were forced to ratify it in order for them to regain representation in the Congress.
  • 15th Amendment

    15th Amendment
    The Fifteenth Amendment (Amendment XV) to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude". It was ratified on February 3, 1870, as the third and last of the Reconstruction Amendments.
  • Jim Crow Laws

    Jim Crow Laws
    The Jim Crow laws were racial segregation laws enacted between 1876 and 1965 in the United States at the state and local level. They mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities in Southern states of the former Confederacy, with, starting in 1890, a "separate but equal" status for African Americans.
  • NAACP Formed

    NAACP Formed
    The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is an African-American civil rights organization in the United States, formed in 1909. Its mission is "to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination". Its name, retained in accordance with tradition, uses the once common term colored people.
  • The Harlem Renaissance

    The Harlem Renaissance
    The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned the 1920s. At the time, it was known as the "New Negro Movement", named after the 1925 anthology by Alain Locke. The Movement also included the new African-American cultural expressions across the urban areas in the Northeast and Midwest United States affected by the Great Migration (African American), of which Harlem was the largest.
  • Integration of Armed Forces

    Integration of Armed Forces
    On July 26, 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed the executive order establishing the President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services, committing the government to integrating the segregated military.
  • Malcolm X

    Malcolm X
    Malcolm X was an African-American Muslim minister and a human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans; detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.
  • Racial segregation in schools

    Racial segregation in schools
    In 1954, in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation of schools was unconstitutional.
  • Emmett Till's death

    Emmett Till's death
    Emmett Louis Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was an African-American boy who was murdered in Mississippi at the age of 14 after reportedly flirting with a white woman.
  • Rosa Parks

    Rosa Parks
    On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake's order that she give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the white section was filled.
  • Little Rock Nine

    Little Rock Nine
    Little Rock Nine were a group of African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Their enrollment was followed by the Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Orval Faubus, the Governor of Arkansas. They then attended after the intervention of President Eisenhower.
  • Publication of "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

    Publication of "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
  • James Meredith

    James Meredith
    James Howard Meredith (born June 25, 1933) is an American civil rights movement figure, a writer, and a political adviser. In 1962, he was the first African-American student admitted to the segregated University of Mississippi, an event that was a flashpoint in the American civil rights movement.
  • March on Washington

    March on Washington
    The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place in Washington, D.C., on August 28, 1963. Attended by some 250,000 people, it was the largest demonstration ever seen in the nation's capital, and one of the first to have extensive television coverage.
  • The death of Malcolm X

    The death of Malcolm X
    In February 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated
  • Watts Riots

    Watts Riots
    The Watts Riots (or Watts Rebellion) was a race riot that took place in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles from August 11 to 17, 1965. The six-day unrest resulted in 34 deaths, 1,032 injuries, 3,438 arrests, and over $40 million in property damage. It was the most severe riot in the city's history until the Los Angeles riots of 1992.
  • Loving vs. Virginia

    Loving vs. Virginia
    Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967), was a landmark civil rights decision of the United States Supreme Court which invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage.
  • Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr

    Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr
    In 1968 King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People's Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. His death was followed by riots in many U.S. cities.
  • Tuskegee syphilis experiment ended

    Tuskegee syphilis experiment ended
    The Tuskegee syphilis experiment was an infamous clinical study conducted between 1932 and 1972 by the U.S. Public Health Service to study the natural progression of untreated syphilis in rural African American men who thought they were receiving free health care from the U.S. government.
  • Rodney King Riots

    Rodney King Riots
    The 1992 Los Angeles Riots, also known as the Rodney King Riots, the South Central Riots, the 1992 Los Angeles Civil Disturbance, and the 1992 Los Angeles Civil Unrest, were a series of riots, lootings, arsons and civil disturbance that occurred in Los Angeles County, California in 1992, following the acquittal of police officers on trial regarding a videotaped, and widely covered police brutality incident.
  • O.J. Simpspn Murder Trial

    O.J. Simpspn Murder Trial
    The former professional football star and actor O. J. Simpson was tried on two counts of murder after the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and a waiter, Ronald Lyle Goldman, in June 1994. The case has been described as the most publicized criminal trial in American history. Simpson was acquitted after a trial that lasted more than eight months.
  • First African-American US President

    First African-American US President
    In 2009, the United States' first African-American president, Barack Obama, was elected.