Events and People in Black History
There are a number of different people and events important to African American history.. Some of those major people and events are listed in the following timeline.
1619 - American settlers bring slaves to Virginia.
1746 - Lucy Terry becomes the first African American poet.
1773 - The first book by an African American is published.
1808 - Congress passes a law prohibiting the importation of African slaves.
1820 - Slavery is banned north of Missouri in the Missouri Compromise.
1846 - Frederick Douglass starts an abolitionist paper.
1849 - Harriet Tubman runs away, almost immediately begins helping others on the Underground Railroad.
1852 - Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe is published.
1857 - Dred Scott case declares that slaves aren’t American citizens and that Congress can’t prohibit slavery.
1861 - The Civil War starts.
1863 - President Abraham Lincoln bans slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation.
1865 - End of the Civil War.
1865 - Ku Klux Klan begins.
1865 - Slavery prohibited with the Thirteenth Amendment in the Constitution.
1869 - Howard University is the first law school for blacks.
1870 - Hiram Revels of Mississippi becomes the first black senator.
1879 - A large number of blacks move to Kansas in what’s known as the Black Exodus.
1881 - Harriet E. Giles and Sophia B. Packard found Speman College for black females.
1881 - The Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Alabama founded by Booker T. Washington opens for black students.
1896 - Supreme Court determines that racial segregation is allowed in Plessy v. Ferguson.
1909 - W.E.B. Dubois forms the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NCAA).
1914 - The Universal Negro Improvement Association begins, founded by Marcus Garvey.
1920s - The Harlem Renaissance takes place as black artists and writers create numerous works.
1938 - Hattie McDaniel becomes the first black actor to ever win an Academy Award; she wins Best Supporting Actress for Gone with the Wind.
1947 - Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American player in the MLB when he signs with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
1948 - Segregation in the military is banned during World War II.
1952 - Malcolm X begins working as a minister with the Nation of Islam and joins the Black Muslims, known for his beliefs that blacks themselves had to find solutions for their shared problems.
1954 - Racial segregation deemed unconstitutional by Brown v. Board of Education.
1955 - Rosa Parks launches a boycott when she refuses to move to the back of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, which was expected at the time.
1957 - Arkansas Governor calls in the National Guard to block nine black students from attending the segregated Central High.
1960 - Four black students start a sit-in at a North Carolina lunch counter when they aren’t allowed service.
1960 - Wilma Rudolph becomes the first African American woman to win gold at the Olympics.
1961 - Student volunteers check the segregation of the South, known as the freedom riders.
1963 - Martin Luther King Jr. writes Letter from Birmingham Jail after being arrested and also gives the I Have a Dream speech.
1963 - Sidney Portier is the first black male actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor.
1964 - The Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination is signed into law by President Johnson.
1965 - Malcolm X assassinated.
1965 - Bloody Sunday takes place when fifty protesters including Martin Luther King Jr. are attacked by police in Selma, Alabama.
1966 - The Black Panthers start.
1966 - Jesse Jackson heads Operation Breadbasket and forms an economic boycott in Chicago.
1967 - Thurgood Marshall becomes the first black Justice on the Supreme Court.
1968 - Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated.
1968 - The Civil Rights Act of 1968 prohibits discrimination in regards to the renting and selling of property.
1978 - Supreme Court upholds affirmative action.
1980s - Al Sharpton works on bringing more publicity to court cases involving African Americans.
1989 - Spike Lee films She’s Gotta Have It.
1992 - Race riots break out in California after white police officers beat a black man.
2003 - Supreme Court determines that colleges can use affirmative action in their admissions policy.
2008 - Barack Obama is the first African American elected to the office of United States President.
2009 - Eric Holder Jr. becomes the first black Attorney General of the United States.
Resources on Black History include:
Discovering more about black history is easier than doing background checks. The timeline here shows some of the major events and the resources help those interested learn more.