African American Eras Library

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Howard University's law school becomes the country's first black law school.

Black History Milestones - HISTORY

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 served in states legislatures. Reconstruction ends in the South. Federal attempts to provide some basic civil rights for African Americans quickly erode.


The Black Exodus takes place, in which tens of thousands of African Americans migrated from southern states to Kansas. Spelman College , the first college for black women in the U. Packard and Harriet E. Booker T. The school becomes one of the leading schools of higher learning for African Americans, and stresses the practical application of knowledge. In , George Washington Carver begins teaching there as director of the department of agricultural research, gaining an international reputation for his agricultural advances.

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. 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.

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 , its journal, The Crisis, was launched. 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.

The Harlem Renaissance flourishes in the s and s. This literary, artistic, and intellectual movement fosters a new black cultural identity. Nine black youths are indicted in Scottsboro, Ala. 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. Although African Americans had participated in every major U. Truman issues an executive order integrating the U.

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. Pictured from left to right: George E. Hayes, Thurgood Marshall, and James Nabrit. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans.

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. In response to her arrest Montgomery's black community launch a successful year-long bus boycott. Montgomery's buses are desegregated on Dec.

African American Eras Library

Steele , and Fred L. Shuttlesworth Jan. Nine black students are blocked from entering the school on the orders of Governor Orval Faubus. Federal troops and the National Guard are called to intervene on behalf of the students, who become known as the " Little Rock Nine.

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Four black students in Greensboro, North Carolina, begin a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter Feb. 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. 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. James Meredith becomes the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi Oct. President Kennedy sends 5, federal troops after rioting breaks out. 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 , people, the largest demonstration ever seen in the nation's capital.

The march builds momentum for civil rights legislation Aug. 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. President Johnson signs 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.

He is the first African American to win the award. State troopers violently attack peaceful demonstrators led by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. 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 , making it easier for Southern blacks to register to vote.

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Literacy tests, poll taxes, and other such requirements that were used to restrict black voting are made illegal Aug. In six days of rioting in Watts, a black section of Los Angeles, 35 people are killed and injured Aug. 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. Eyewitnesses to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of , prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing April Shirley Chisholm becomes the first black female U.

A Democrat from New York, she was elected in November and served from to The infamous Tuskegee Syphilis experiment ends. Begun in , the U. Public Health Service's year experiment on 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. 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 Guion Bluford Jr.


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 Colin Powell becomes the first African American U. Secretary of State. 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. In Grutter v. Bollinger , the most important affirmative action decision since the Bakke case, 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.

African American Eras Library African American Eras Library
African American Eras Library African American Eras Library
African American Eras Library African American Eras Library
African American Eras Library African American Eras Library
African American Eras Library African American Eras Library
African American Eras Library African American Eras Library

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