Milestones
in Black History

The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early to mid-19 century, and used by enslaved African-Americans to escape into free states and Canada. The scheme was assisted by abolitionists and others sympathetic to the cause of the escapees. Not literally a railroad but rather a secretly organized means of movement.

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The Abolitionist Movement

The Abolitionist Movement

Abolitionism, or the abolitionist movement, was the movement to end slavery. This term can be used both formally and informally. In Western Europe and the Americas, abolitionism was a historic movement that sought to end the Atlantic slave trade and set slaves free. King Charles I of Spain, usually known as Emperor Charles V, was following the example of Louis X of France, who had abolished slavery within the Kingdom of France in 1315.

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Andry's Rebellion

Andry's Rebellion

Andry's Rebellion, also known as the German Coast Uprising, was a slave revolt that occurred in the Territory of Louisiana between January 8 and 10, 1811. The revolt, the largest servile uprising in United States history, was named after the owner of the plantation, Manual Andry, where the uprising originated.

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Nat Turner Slave Revolt

Nat Turner Slave Revolt

Nat Turner's Rebellion (Southampton Insurrection) was a slave rebellion that took place in Southampton County, Virginia, in August 1831, led by Nat Turner. Rebel slaves killed from 55 to 65 people, at least 51 being white. The rebellion was put down within a few days, but Turner survived in hiding for more than two months afterwards. The rebellion was effectively suppressed at Belmont Plantation on the morning of August 23, 1831.

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The Dred Scott Decision

The Dred Scott Decision

Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393, was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court in which the Court held that the United States Constitution was not meant to include American citizenship for people of African descent, regardless of whether they were enslaved or free, and so the rights and privileges that the Constitution confers upon American citizens could not apply to them.

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El Paso Salt War

El Paso Salt War

The San Elizario Salt War, also known as the Salinero Revolt or the El Paso Salt War, was an extended and complex range war of the mid-19th century that revolved around the ownership and control of immense salt lakes at the base of the Guadalupe Mountains in West Texas.

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The Black Codes

The Black Codes

The Black Codes, also known as the Black Laws, were a list of restrictive laws governing the freedom of African Americans enacted in 1865 and 1866 in the states of the former Confederacy succeeding the American Civil War. Intended to satisfy the continuance of white supremacy, the Slave Codes were forerunners of the Black Codes of the mid-19th century.

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The Cockstock Affair

The Cockstock Affair

The Cockstock Affair is argued to be the justification that white settlers used to install Oregon’s exclusion laws against African Americans in the 1840s. As the details of the Affair have been widely debated, there are different ways of interpreting the events, causes, and outcomes.

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Booker T. Washington in Seattle, 1913

Booker T. Washington in Seattle, 1913

An unusual incidence of interracial solidarity between blacks and Asian Americans occurred during Booker T. Washington’s visit to Seattle. In March 1913, Washington embarked on a national speaking tour in order to raise money for Tuskegee Institute, the chronically underfunded “Normal and Industrial School” in Alabama over whose fortunes he had presided since its founding in 1881.

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The Civil Rights Movement

The Great Migration

The Great Migration, sometimes known as the Great Northward Migration or the Black Migration, was the movement of 6 million African Americans out of the rural Southern United States to the urban Northeast, Midwest, and West that occurred between 1916 and 1970.

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Red Summer of 1919

Red Summer of 1919

Red Summer is the period from late winter through early autumn of 1919 during which white supremacist terrorism and racial riots took place in more than three dozen cities across the United States, as well as in one rural county in Arkansas.

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Black Wall Street (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

Black Wall Street (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

The Black Wall Street Massacre, which began on May 31, 1921, was one of the worst race riots in the history of the United States, in which more than 35 square blocks were destroyed by a wave of racial terrorism that left hundreds of Black residents dead, and more than 1,000 houses burned or otherwise destroyed.

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The Jazz Age

The Jazz Age

The Jazz Age was a period in the 1920s and 1930s in which jazz music and dance styles rapidly gained nationwide popularity in the United States. The Jazz Age's cultural repercussions were primarily felt in the United States, the birthplace of jazz.

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The Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance, also known as the “New Negro Movement”, was an intellectual, social, and artistic explosion centered in Harlem, New York, spanning the 1920s. 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, of which Harlem was the largest.

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Rosewood Massacre

Rosewood Massacre

The Rosewood massacre was a racially motivated massacre of black people and destruction of a black town that took place during the first week of January 1923 in rural Levy County, Florida. At least six black people and two white people were killed, though eyewitness accounts suggested a higher death toll of 27 to 150.

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The Tuskegee Airmen

The Tuskegee Airmen

The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of primarily African American military pilots (fighter and bomber) and airmen who fought in World War II. They formed the 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces. The name also applies to the navigators, bombardiers, mechanics, instructors, crew chiefs, nurses, cooks and other support personnel.

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The Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights Movement in the United States was a decades-long struggle with the goal of enforcing constitutional and legal rights for African Americans that white Americans already enjoyed. With roots that dated back to the Reconstruction era during the late 19th century, the movement achieved its largest legislative gains in the mid-1960s, after years of direct actions and grassroots protests that were organized from the mid-1950s until 1968.

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The Pearsall Plan

The Pearsall Plan

The Pearsall Plan to Save Our Schools, known colloquially as the Pearsall Plan, was North Carolina's 1956 attempt at a moderate approach to integrate their public schools after racial segregation of schools was ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education (1954). Many southern states were challenged by the Brown ruling as they faced opposition to integration from residents.

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The Stolen Girls of Americus, Georgia (1963)

The Stolen Girls of Americus, Georgia (1963)

In July 1963, approximately two hundred African American youth met in downtown Americus, Georgia, to peacefully protest local segregation. After sanctioning violent attacks by a white mob, police moved in to arrest the young protestors. While some protestors were shortly released, 35 young African American girls found themselves held in an abandoned Civil War-era prison for almost two months.

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Bloody Sunday (Selma, Alabama)

Bloody Sunday (Selma, Alabama)

On March 7, 1965, in Selma, Alabama, a 600-person civil rights demonstration ends in violence when marchers are attacked and beaten by white state troopers and sheriff’s deputies. The day's events became known as “Bloody Sunday.”

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Long, Hot Summer of 1967

Long, Hot Summer of 1967

Long, hot summer of 1967 refers to the 159 race riots that erupted across the United States in 1967. In June there were riots in Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Tampa. In July there were riots in Birmingham, Chicago, New York City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Britain, Rochester, and Plainfield. The most destructive riots of the summer took place in July, in Newark, New Jersey, and Detroit, Michigan.

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1968 Olympics Black Power Salute

1968 Olympics Black Power Salute

During their medal ceremony in the Olympic Stadium in Mexico City on October 16, 1968, two African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos each raised a black-gloved fist during the playing of the US national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”.

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The Golden Era of Hip-Hop

The Golden Era of Hip-Hop

Golden age hip hop is a name given to mainstream hip hop music created in the mid-to-late 1980s and early 1990s, particularly by artists and musicians originating from the New York metropolitan area. It is characterized by its diversity, quality, innovation and influence on hip hop after the genre's emergence and establishment in the previous decade.

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1992 L.A. Riots

1992 L.A. Riots

The 1992 Los Angeles riots were a series of riots and civil disturbances that occurred in Los Angeles County in April and May 1992. Unrest began in South Central Los Angeles on April 29, after a trial jury acquitted four officers of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for usage of excessive force in the arrest and beating of Rodney King, which had been videotaped and widely viewed in TV broadcasts.

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The Million Man March

The Million Man March

The Million Man March was a large gathering of African-American men in Washington, D.C., on October 16, 1995. Called by Louis Farrakhan, it was held on and around the National Mall. The National African American Leadership Summit, a leading group of civil rights activists and the Nation of Islam working with scores of civil rights organizations, including many local chapters of the NAACP formed the Million Man March Organizing Committee.

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