Right for Black Americans

  • First Slave Arrives in Virginia

    First Slave Arrives in Virginia
    The first black slave arrives ona ship from Africa, thi marks the beginning of a long practice of slavery in American as well as a long struggle within the country.
  • Slavery is Banned in the Northwest Territory

    Slavery is Banned in the Northwest Territory
    Along with creating the northwest Territory, this ordinance also banned slavery in the expansion territory. This set the stage for tension regarding admittance of states as free or slave in the future.
  • Fugitive Slave Law of 1793

    Fugitive Slave Law of 1793
    This law provided the legal ability for runaway slaves to be returned to their owners.
  • Gabriel Prosser Revolt in Richmond

    Gabriel Prosser Revolt in Richmond
    A literate enslaved black, Prosser organized an uprising that was crushed before it was carried out. He and follows her hanged, and Virginia along with other states tightened laws for restrictions on free blacks like education.
  • Missouri Compromise

    Missouri Compromise
    In the admittance of Missouri as a state, a compromise is reached that admits Missouri as a slave state, but bans slavery under the 36' 30' line. This agreement provides for much less room for the expansion of slavery in the creation of future U.S. states.
  • Vesey Revolt

    Vesey Revolt
    The revolt organized by Denmark Vesey, a slave who bought his own freedom, is crushed before being carried out by himself and 34 others. They are hanged for the attempt.
  • Nat Turner Rebellion

    Nat Turner Rebellion
    An educated black, Turner and his followers conducted an uprising that ended in the deaths of 60 in Southampton County, VA. Turner is hanged after being captured, and Virginia puts stricter slave laws in place.
  • Wilmot Proviso

    Wilmot Proviso
    This proviso by David Wilmot suggested banning slavery in any territory from the Mexican cession. It wasn't passed, but enraged Southern supporters of slavery and continued the heated debate.
  • The Underground Railroad

    The Underground Railroad
    Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave, leads the Underground Railroad, a secret network to help slaves escape to the north to freedom. She and others help around 100,000 slaves escape.
  • Dred Scott v. Stanford

    Dred Scott v. Stanford
    First - Negroes, whether slaves or free, that is, men of the African race, are not citizens of the United States by the Constitution.
    Second - The Ordinance of 1787 had no independent constitutional force or legal effect subsequently to the adoption of the Constitution, and could not operate of itself to confer freedom or citizenship within the Northwest Territory on negroes not citizens by the Constitution.
    Third - The provisions of the Act of 1820, commonly called the Missouri Compromise, in
  • The Civil War Begins

    The Civil War Begins
    General Peirre Beauregard and his troops open fire on Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. This marks the beginning of a conflict in part caused by the question of slavery and the agitation ot sparked between the Union and the Confederacy, and this war will change the course of African American life in America.
  • Issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation

    Issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation
    After three years of war, President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared" all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious state" are, and henceforward shall be free." This proclamation turned the Civil War into a war of freedom, tying the war to the conflict of slavery. In addition, it allowed black men into the Union army, and by the end of the war, almost 200,000 african american soldiers and sailors had fought.
  • Thirteen Amendement is Ratified

    Thirteen Amendement is Ratified
    Congress passed the amendement on January 31 of 1885, and it was finally raitified on December 18 when Secretary of State William Henry Seward officially declared it part of the Constitution. The Thirteenth Amendement abolished slavery within the U.S, vital for the country's steps towards equality for blacks. Through this amendement, all slaves in every state were set free
  • Creation of the Freedman's Bureau

    Creation of the Freedman's Bureau
    Congress created the Freedman's Bureau, headed by General Oliver O. Howard, in 1865 to help the million of freed slaves in their transition to free life. This federal agency: operated hospitals, established temprary camps, helped locate family members, promoted education (they aided in the bulding of over 1,000 black schools), helped them legalize marriages, provided employment, This was vital in the assimilation of blacks into society, helping them adjust to new lives on their own and free.
  • The Klu Klux Klan is Formed

    The Klu Klux Klan is  Formed
    The Klu Klux Klan was a formation of loosely associated para miltitary or secret groups who sought to restore white sumpremacy as the social order in the south. Many confederate veterens, land owners and other groups used terroism and violence to prevent blacks from gaining rights in the south.
  • Reconstruction Acts

    Reconstruction Acts
    Starting on March 2 of 1867, a series of four Reconstruction Acts were passed establishing a method of reconstructing the South as well as protecting the rights of the newly freed slaves. The first one divided the former Confederacy into five military districts, put under the control of a military governor. Voters were registered, and suffrage was extended to freedmen. Elected delegates of state conventions were charged with drafting new constitutional provisions allowing black suffrage.
  • Eastablishment of Howard University

    Eastablishment of Howard University
    Congress charted a a law school for blacks when it became necessary to help raise lawyers who could defend blacks and their newly established rights. This Howard University, under the leadership of John Mercer Langston, was the country's first black law school, furthur aiding blacks in their effort to settle into society. Although the school didn't have classrooms, but met in the homes and offices of the faculty, it was a step towards prrotection of blacks' rights
  • Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment

    Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment
    The Fourteen Amendment, ratified on July 9 of 1868, granted citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” including recently freed slaves. In addition, it forbid states from denying any person "life, liberty or property, without due process of law" or to "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." This was crucial because it greatly expanded and protected the rights of blacks in the country by making them citizens with the same rights.
  • Introduction of the Fifteenth Amendment

    Introduction of the Fifteenth Amendment
    This amendment to the Constitution gave black ment he right to vote, declaring the "right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." Not ratified by the states until March 30 of 1870, the fiftteenth amendment was resisted by the South through voting requirements such as literacy tests, however it did solidify male african americans' right to vote.
  • Passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1875

    Passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1875
    In 1875, Congress passes the Civil Rights Act of 1875 which guaranteed equal use of public accommodations as well as places of public amusement. In addition it forbid exclusion of blacks from jury duty. This is important because it marks the last Congressional effort to protect African Americans' civil rights for around the next half-century.
  • Opening of Spelman College, the first college for black women

    Opening of Spelman College, the first college for black women
    Opening on April 11, 1881, Spelman Colllege became the first university for american american women in the nation's history, started by Sophia B. Packard and Harriet E. Giles, friends commissioned by the Woman's American Baptist Home Mission Society in 1879. The school grew to 800 pupils, 30 teachers, and property valued at $90,000 within the first ten years. The school defied much of what was accepted for both women and blacks.
  • Founding of Tuskegee Institute

    Founding of Tuskegee Institute
    This institute was founded by Booker T. Washington, as well as former slave owner George Campbell and Lewis Adams, a former slave. and gave blacks a unique opportunity to learn practical skills that were helpful in society such as carpenting, brickmaking, shoemaking, printing and farming. This was vital because it taught blacks how to work themselves successfully into mainstream society. They learned to become self sufficient. This institution quickly grew in funding and numbers.
  • Supreme Court Declares Civil Rights Act of 1875 Unconstitutional

    Supreme Court Declares Civil Rights Act of 1875 Unconstitutional
    In 1883, the Supreme Court declared that the Civil Rights Act of 1875 only forbids state-imposed discrimination, not that by individuals or corporations. It was not authorized by the 13th or 14th Amendments of the Constitution. This ruling outraged both blacks and whites because they believed it opened a door for legalizing segregation.
  • Plessy vs. Ferguson

    Plessy vs. Ferguson
    Homer Plessy, though only 1/7 black, was jailed for sitting in a whites only car on a train. He argued this Separate Car Act violated the thirteenth and fourteen amendments. However, the Supreme Court not only said it did not, but also set the precedent for the future of blacks (Jim Crow laws) by saying that separate but equal was ok, allowing it to expand to other aspects of life such as schools. This would not be overturned for quite a while.
  • Publishing of "The Souls of Black Folk"

    Publishing of "The Souls of Black Folk"
    W.E.B. DuBois publishes this book in 1903, in which he rejects Booker T. Washington's gradualism ideas on blacks' rights. The book called for agitation among blacks to create change.
  • Niagra Movement

    Niagra Movement
    A leader in african american rights, W.E.B. Dubois founded the Niagra movement in 1905, which takes a more radical approach to gaining blacks' rights than Booker T. Washington, another leader. Held at Niagara Falls, the first meeting consisted of critics of Washington's accomidation and conciliation. They created a manifesto demanding equal rights, though the group never gained movement.
  • Founding of the NAACP

    Founding of the NAACP
    Branching from the Niagara Movement, The National Association for the Advancement of Colord People (NAACP) was founded in 1909 in New York by W.E.B. DuBois. It is created in response to the continuing lynching and the 1908 race riot in Springfield, the capital of Illinois. Their goal was "To promote equality of rights and to eradicate caste or race prejudice among the citizens of the United States..."
  • First Publication of "Crisis"

    First Publication of "Crisis"
    This publication was sponsored by the newly founded NAACP and edited by DuBois. It had various contributors such as Jane Addams and Ida Wells. Named after the popular poem by James Russell Lowell, "The Present Crisis", it campaigned agianst lynching, Jim Crow laws, even sexual inequality. It grew rapidly and is an important voice of blacks' fight for rights and equality.
  • Establishment of the Universal Negro Improvement Association

    Establishment of the Universal Negro Improvement Association
    African American nationalism Marcus Garvey founded the UNIA. It's first branch appearing in American in 1917, the UNIA campaigned against lynching, Jim Crow laws, denial of black voting rights, and racial discrimination. however, this organization doubted whether whites would ever agree to blacks being treated equally. They argued for egregation rather than integration. Garvey suggested the idea of all blacks living in Africa.
  • Black Cavalry Military Units

    Black Cavalry Military Units
    In World War 1, the the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 24th and 25th Infantry units, all black, were sent in to combat. Though blacks were usually given minial tasks, these African Americans actually fought.
  • Harlem Reinessance

    Harlem Reinessance
    The Harlem Reinessance was a flourishing of black literature, art, and music during the 1920's. As the "Great Migration" of blacks moved northwsrd, many settled in Harlem, NY, where this concentration of culture developed as blacks expressed their culture through art, writing, and music. Although it occured in one district, it's influence spread throughout the country.
  • Peak of the Second KKK

    Peak of the Second KKK
    Founded by William J. Simmons in 1915, the second KKK reached it's peak in the mid 1920's with an estimated 4 to 5 million members. During this time many Klan members were also elected to Congress and state official positions. During this time they gained politicall influence as well as spread to regions they had never reached before.
  • Oscur De Priest Wins Election

    The first black congressman since Reconstuction
  • Black Cabinet

    Black Cabinet
    the "Black Cabinet" referred to the group of blacks, among them Mary Bethune, that acted as advisors to President Roosevelt during the Depression years. They met to discuss issues with blacks during the time period. Although many blacks were discriminated against during the Depression, being excluded from many relief programs, the black cabinet sought to aid blacks in this difficult when they were hit hardest.
  • Creation of the National Negro Congress

    Creation of the National Negro Congress
    Blacks were being nationally excluded from New Deal reform during the Great Depression, the first to lost jobs and the last to get them. The NNC was founded as an attempt to pressure the government for civil rights. With over 800 delegate, the NCC represented yet another effort by blacks to secure rights in the country.
  • Executive Order 8802 by President Roosevelt

    Executive Order 8802 by President Roosevelt
    The first exectutive order on race since the Reconstruction, President Roosevelt prohibited discriminary employment practices in federal agencies and all unions and companies involved in war related work. This created teh Fair Employment Practices Commission.
  • Creation of Congress of Racial Equality

    Creation of Congress of Racial Equality
    Employering used non-violent direct action, this civil rights organization sought to desegragate public facilities in northern cities
  • Smith v. Allwright

    Smith v. Allwright
    The US Supreme Court ruled that an all-white primary for democratic candidates was unconsitutional. The practice had prevented blacks from entering in elections. This decision eliminated a bar that had existed in eight southern states, although those states resorted to other tactics to reduce the black vote.
  • Truman Meets with Civil Rights Leaders

    Truman Meets with Civil Rights Leaders
    Believing that every American should enjoy the rights of citizens, including the unfettered right to vote, Truman met with civil rights leaders to show the world that America was not racist.
  • Morgan v. Virginia

    Morgan v. Virginia
    The Supreme Court struck down state laws requiring segregation in situations involving interstate transportation as these restrictions violated the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Jackie Robinson breaks Major League Color Barrier

    Jackie Robinson breaks Major League Color Barrier
    Jackie Robinson joins the Brooklyn Dodgers. Facing opposition from those opposed to integration, Robinson excels and is named rookie of the year.
  • Shelly v. Kramer

    Shelly v. Kramer
    The Supreme Court ruling outlawed the use of restictive convenants that forbade the sale or rental of property to minorities.
  • Brown vs. Board of Education

    Brown vs. Board of Education
    A young girl Linda Brown was denied entrance to a white school in her town of Topeka, Kansas. The case against their board of education was brought to the Supreme Court which ruled that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. This groundbreaking case overturned the ruling of "separate but equal" of Plessy vs. Ferguson.
  • Rosa Parks begins the Montgomery Bus Boycott

    Rosa Parks begins the Montgomery Bus Boycott
    A colored woman, Rosa Parks, refuses to give up her seat to a white man on the front of a bus, resulting in her arrest. This triggers the Montgomery Bus Boycott headed by MLK that lasted a year in which blacks refused to ride the Montgomery buses. They were successful when on December 21, 1956 the buses were desegregated. Her actions helped spark the boycott as well as the civil rights movement.
  • Establishment of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

    Establishment of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
    MLK, Charles Steele, and Fred Shuttlesworth establish the SCLC as an organization for civil rights. However, it's goal was to fight for rights nonviolently.
  • Sit-Ins

    Sit-Ins
    Across the south young black activists challenged segregation by staging "sit in" protests. Beginning with the Greensboro sittings in NC, sit-ins sparked elsewhere as more students across the South participated. It sparked a fire in student protesters and also brought national awareness to the issue.
  • Formation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

    Formation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
    Originating from meetings in NC held by Ella Baker, the group grew with added support and donations. The SNCC played a key role in the sit-ins and freedom rides, and even the March on Washington. They formed as a result of the Greensboro sit-ins as a group for students and civil rights.
  • Freedom Rides

    Freedom Rides
    Over the course of the summer of 1961, volunteers, both white and black, took bus trips through the South in exercise laws prohibiting segregation in interstate travel sponsored by CORE and the SNCC. Some groups of riders were attacked by angry mobs along their routes. Eventually being given federal protection, freedom riders also faced being arrested as compromise for their safety.
  • James Meridith, First Black man admited to University of Mississippi

    James Meridith, First Black man admited to University of Mississippi
    After sucessfully applying for admission and winning a court battle to allow him to attend, on October 1, 1962, James Meridith enrolled at the University of Mississippi as the first black student. Federal troops had to protect him from roiting during his first months there.
  • The March on Washington, 1963

    The March on Washington, 1963
    250,000 people gathered in Washington, DC to protest for equal rights. Martin Luther King delievered his famous "I have a dream" speech to the crowd.
  • March on Washington

    March on Washington
    Over 250,000 people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to hear speeches and songs from civil rights advocates. MLK's famous "I Have A Dream" Speech was given here. The gathering marked the largest demonstration for civil rights to date.
  • Economic Opportunity Act of 1964

    Economic Opportunity Act of 1964
    This Act established the office of Economic Opportunity to wage war on poverty.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Civil Rights Act of 1964
    A revolutionary change in the laws which outlawed discrimination in employment and accomadations, and enlarged federal enforcement of voting rights. The law intended to make sure all laws provided equal protection regardless of race according to the 14th amendment.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

    Voting Rights Act of 1965
    To insure equal rights for all citizens to vote, the Voting Rights Act eliminated literacy or other tests for votors in the South and allowed Federal examiners to register qualified voters in state elections. This made it possible for blacks to vote and have their voices heard in government.
  • Founding of the Black Panthers

    Founding of the Black Panthers
    Founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland, California, the Black Panther Party gained national attention as a militalistic group that advocated black power and even black exclusivity. They were not against violence as some other groups were.
  • Loving v. Virginia - Supreme Court strikes down antimiscengenation lawa

    Loving v. Virginia - Supreme Court strikes down antimiscengenation lawa
    After being charged for marrying out of state and returning to Virginia, the case of the Lovings, an interracial couple, reached the Supreme Court, in a landmark case declaring anti-miscegenation laws racist. The Supreme Court ruled unconsitutional any law that prevented the marriage of people from different races.
  • Justice Thurgood Marshall, FIrst Black Supreme Court Justice

    Justice Thurgood Marshall, FIrst Black Supreme Court Justice
    Appointed by President Lyndon Johnson, Thurgood Marshall would be the first black Supreme Court justice. Before appointed to the bench, Marshall was the attorney who won the Brown v. Bd of Education case.
  • Assassination of MLK

    Assassination of MLK
    The symbolic leader of the nonviolent civil rights movement, MLK, is shot down from the balcony of his hotel in Memphis, TN. James Earl Ray was arrested for the crime, and violent riots broke out across the country by blacks in outrage.
  • 1970s White Flight from Urban Areas

    Reacting to unrest and riots in the cities, as well as forced integration of schools, the early 1970s saw a movement of many whites from urban areas into the suburbs. This caused additioanl deterioration of conditions in the majory cities.
  • Swann v. Charlotte-Meckenburg Bd of Education

    Swann v. Charlotte-Meckenburg Bd of Education
    The Supreme Court upholds desegregation busing of students to achieve integration. This made all schools available to minorities by allowing the balancing of races across school district lines. The busing would become an issue in a conservative backlash against the civil rights movement.
  • Supreme Court - Regents of the University of California v. Bakke

    The US Supreme Court decides the case of Regents of the University of California v. Bakke and bars racial quota systems in college admissions but affirms the constitutionality of affirmative action programs giving equal access to minorities.
  • Martin Luther King Day Declared national holiday

    On November 2, President Ronald Reagan signs a bill establishing January 20 as a federal holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Gen Colin Powell first African American Chairman of Joint Cheifs of Staff

    General Colin L. Powell is named chair of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, the first African American to hold the post.
  • Los Angles Riots following Rodney King Trial

    A Simi Valley, California jury acquits the three officers accused of beating Rodney King. The verdict triggers a three day uprising in Los Angeles called the Rodney King Riot that results in over 50 people killed, over 2,000 injured and 8,000 arrested.
  • First African American President

    Barack Obmama is elected the first black to be the Presidet of the United States