History cover

The History of African Americans

  • Crispus Attucks dies in the Boston Massacre

    Crispus Attucks dies in the Boston Massacre
    Crispus Attucks was shot twice in his chest by William Warren and died instantly from his wounds
  • Fugitive Slave Act

    Fugitive Slave Act
    Act that allowed masters/hunters to retrieve runaway slaves in the North and established the Mason Dixon Line over Maryland (set first boundary for slavery in US)
  • Nat Turner Rebellion

    Nat Turner Rebellion
    Nat Turner led a violent slave rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia. The incident put fear in the heart of southerners, ending the organized emancipation movement in that region.
  • Amistad Revolt

    Amistad Revolt
    In February 1839, fifty-three African were purchased by two Spanish planters and put aboard the Cuban schooner Amistad for shipment to a Caribbean plantation. On July 1, 1839, the Africans seized the ship, killed the captain and the cook, and ordered the planters to sail to Africa. On August 24, 1839, the Amistad was seized off Long Island, NY, by the U.S. brig Washington. The planters were freed and the Africans were imprisoned in New Haven, CT, on charges of murder.
  • Fugitive Slave Law

    Fugitive Slave Law
    New slave law that forced marshals to hand over runaway slaves, punishes people who help fugitives, and charges a $1,000 fine and six months in jail for every slave helped. This resulted in the increase of abolitionists.
  • Scott vs Sanford

    Scott vs Sanford
    The Supreme Court decided that no African Americans, whether slave or free, could be US citizens, and therefore had no standing in federal court.
  • John Brown Raid

    John Brown Raid
    John Brown led a small army of 18 men into the small town of Harper's Ferry, Virginia. His plan was to instigate a major slave rebellion in the South. His plan succeeded in deepening the divide between North and South, but failed in its initial purpose.
  • SC secedes from the Union

    SC secedes from the Union
    A onvention meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, unanimously adopted an ordinance dissolving the connection between South Carolina and the United States of America. It's action made South Carolina the first state to secede from the Union.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    A war measure issued by President Lincoln during the Civil War that proclaimed the freedom of slaves in the ten states that were still in rebellion. This document was ineffective.
  • 13th Ammendment

    13th Ammendment
    The 13th Ammendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.
  • End of Civil War

    End of Civil War
    The Civil War was concluded with the Confederate surrender of General Robert E. Lee.
  • Assassination of Lincoln

    Assassination of Lincoln
    President Abraham Lincoln was shot in the head by John Wilkes Booth while in the presidential box at Ford's Theater.
  • 14th Ammendment

     14th Ammendment
    The 14th Ammendment granted citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” which included former slaves recently freed. 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.”
  • 15th Ammendment

    15th Ammendment
    The 15th Ammendment 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".
  • Plessy vs Ferguson

    Plessy vs Ferguson
    The Supreme Court ruled that segregation is not constitutional and created the "separate but equal" standard.
  • Phoenix Election Riot

    Phoenix Election Riot
    On the morning of election day, Tom Tolbert sat on the porch outside of the polling place with several African Americans including Joe Circuit and Will White. They were collecting affidavits from black males not allowed to vote. A group of white Democrats led by Bose Ethridge and Robert Cheatham approached and ordered Tolbert to leave, causing a fight to ensue. This fight led to the killing of Ethridge and the major injuring of Tolbert.
  • Wilmington, NC Riot

    Wilmington, NC Riot
    The Riot was a white supremacist movement, which overthrew the legitimately elected biracial government of Wilmington, North Carolina and replaced it with officials who instituted the first Jim Crow laws in North Carolina.
  • Rosewood Massacre

    Rosewood Massacre
    The Rosewood massacre was a racially-motivated mob atrocity in Florida during January 1-7, 1923, it began when Fannie Taylor falsely accused a black man of beating her. In the violence at least six blacks and two whites were killed.
  • Scottsboro Boys

    Scottsboro Boys
    Nine black boys were falsely accused of gang raping two white girls on a train.
  • McLaurin vs Oklahoma

    McLaurin vs Oklahoma
    The Supreme Court ruled that separation did not impair learning.
  • Sweatt vs Painter

    Sweatt vs Painter
    Herman Sweatt sued based on the unfair "quality" of legal training he was recieving at the University of Texas Law School. The Supreme Court ruled in his favor declaring that separate was not equal.
  • Brown vs Board

    Brown vs Board
    The Supreme Court declared that "separate but equal" was unconstitutional. This decision led to the eventual desegregation of schools.
  • Death of Emmett Till

    Death of Emmett Till
    After reportedly flirting with a white woman, Emmett Till was kidnapped, brutally beaten, mutilated, and shot in the head by two white men.
  • Little Rock 9

    Little Rock 9
    Following the decision of Brown v. Board, the implementation of deseregation began with the NAACP's registering of nine black students to attend the previously all-white, Little Rock Central High School.
  • Ruby Bridges

    Ruby Bridges
    Ruby Bridges is the first African American child, escorted by US Marshalls, to attend an all-white elementary school at the age of 6 years old.
  • James Meredith

    James Meredith
    James Meredith was 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.
  • March on Washington

    March on Washington
    The March on Washington was the largest demonstration seen in the nation's capital and one of the first to have extensive television coverage. The stated demands of the march were the passage of civil rights legislation, the elimination of racial segregation in public schools, protection for demonstrators against police brutality; a public-works program to provide jobs, a law prohibiting racial discrimination in public and private hiring, $2 an hour minimum wage; and self-government for DC.
  • 16th Street Church Bombing

    16th Street Church Bombing
    On September 15, a bomb exploded before Sunday morning services at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. This was a church with a predominantly black congregation that served as a meeting place for civil rights leaders. Four young girls were killed and many other people injured during the bombing.
  • Assassination of Malcolm X

    Assassination of Malcolm X
    Malcolm X was an African American nationalist and religious leader. One week after his home was firebombed, Malcolm X was shot to death by Nation of Islam members while speaking at a rally of his organization in New York City.
  • March on Selma

    March on Selma
    The Selma to Montgomery marches, also known as Bloody Sunday and the two marches that followed, were marches and protests held in 1965. The first march took place on March 7, 1965, when 600 marchers, protesting the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson and ongoing exclusion from the electoral process, were attacked by state and local police with billy clubs and tear gas.
  • Voting Rights Act

    Voting Rights Act
    A landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits discrimination in voting. It was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson during the height of the American Civil Rights Movement.
  • Watts Riots

    Watts Riots
    The Watts Riot 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.
  • Orangeburg Massacre

    Orangeburg Massacre
    At 10:33 p.m. on the night of Feb. 8, 1968, three young black men were left dying and 27 wounded on the campus of South Carolina State College in Orangeburg after eight to ten seconds of police gunfire. The shootings occurred two nights after students at the then almost all-black college tried to bowl at the city’s only bowling alley. The owner refused, tensions rose, and violence erupted.
  • Assassination of MLK Jr.

    Assassination of MLK Jr.
    Martin Luther King Jr was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader of the African American civil rights movement who became known for his advancement of civil rights by way of civil disobedience. At 6:05 P.M. on Thursday, 4 April 1968, Martin Luther King was shot dead while standing on a balcony outside his second-floor room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Arrest of Angela Davis

    Arrest of Angela Davis
    Angela Davis was arrested in New York by the FBI on Tuesday October 13th 1970. She had been on the run for over two months, crossing the country from Los Angeles to New York. Her gun had been used to kill a judge. That made her party to murder. Once she left California and crossed state lines that brought in the FBI. Davis was one of the first women to be on the list of the FBI's Most Wanted.
  • Congressional Hearings end for Tuskegee Study

    Congressional Hearings end for Tuskegee Study
    The Tuskegee Syphilis Study constituted one of the most shameful acts in the history of American medicine. This study allowed 400 African American men afflicted with syphilis to go untreated for a period of almost 40 years. It resulted in new laws governing medical experiments on humans. Finally in 1972, following unflattering news reports, the study was finally shut down, and those subjects that were still part of the study received penicillin. A lawsuit was filed in 1973.
  • LUCY is discovered

    LUCY is discovered
    Lucy, the world's most famous early ancestor, was discovered by paleontologist Donald Johanson in Hadar, Ethiopia. Lucy was the first Australopithecus afarensis skeleton ever found and is approximately 3.2 million years old. Her skeleton is only 40 percent complete.
  • ROOTS was published

    ROOTS was published
    Roots is the story of an African American family that was passed down orally from generation to generation. It tells the story of an 18th century African named Kunta Kinte who was captured as an adolescent and sold into slavery in the US. It follows his life and the lives of his descendants down to Alex Haley, the author.
  • Beating of Rodney King

    Beating of Rodney King
    Rodney King was an African American construction worker who became known nationally after being brutally beaten by police, folling a high-speed chase. A local witness was able to record footage of five officers surrounding King, several of them striking him repeatedly, while other officers stood by. Four officers were charged with assault with a deadly weapon and use of excessive force. Three were acquitted of all charges.
  • Barack Obama -- First Black President

    Barack Obama -- First Black President
    Barack Obama was elected the 44th and first black president of the United States.