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August 20, 1619. 32 Africans arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, aboard a Dutch ship. They were the first blacks to be forcibly settled as involuntary laborers in the North American British Colonies. Slavery in the New World. 1. April 19, 1775

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slavery in the new world

August 20, 1619.

  • 32 Africans arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, aboard a Dutch ship.
  • They were the first blacks to be forcibly settled as involuntary laborers in the North American British Colonies.

Slavery in the New World


revolutionary war 1775 1783

April 19, 1775

  • Free blacks fight with the Minutemen in the initial skirmishes of the Revolutionary War at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts.
  • The Continental Congress agreed to enlist free blacks as volunteers in 1776.
  • More than 7,000 black volunteer soldiers and sailors took part in the Revolutionary War.
  • July 2, 1777, Vermont was the first state to abolish slavery.

Revolutionary War1775-1783


sojourner truth

Truth started to travel and preach about abolition in 1843.

  • Truth spoke about abolition, women's rights, prison reform, and preached to the Michigan Legislature against capital punishment.
  • In 1850, William Lloyd Garrison privately published her book, The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave.
  • In May 1851 she attended the Ohio Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio, where she delivered her famous speech: “Ain't I a Woman.”
  • In 1865, while working in D.C., she rode in the streetcars to help force desegregation.

Sojourner Truth


frederick douglass

A former slave, Douglass became an abolitionist, editor, orator, author, statesman and reformer.

  • Douglass was considered one of the most prominent figures of African- American history during his lifetime, and is one of the most influential lecturers and authors in American history.
  • Firmly believed in equality for all people regardless of race, sex, religion.
  • Participated in several projects and movements in order to gain equality for all human beings.
  • Published a series of newspapers called The North Star, which had the motto: "Right is of no sex—Truth is of no color—God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren".

Frederick Douglass


harriet tubman and the underground railroad

Harriet Tubman was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War.

  • In July 1849, Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery.
  • She returned to the South at least 20 times, leading over 300 slaves to freedom using the Underground Railroad.
  • The informal network of secret routes and safe houses helped blacks of the 19th-century escape to freedom with the aid of abolitionists like Harriet Tubman.

Harriet Tubman and The Underground Railroad

  • Underground Railroad Jargon:
    • “Station” = hiding place
    • “Stationmaster” = one who would hide slaves in their home
    • “Passengers/Cargo” = escaped slaves
    • “Freedom Train / Gospel Train” =code namefor theUnderground Railroad
    • “The wind blows from the South today” = warning of slave bounty hunters nearby
    • “Shepherds” = people escorting slaves
    • “Heaven / Promised Land” = free state or Canada


road to citizenship

March 6, 1857, the Dred Scott decision denied that blacks were citizens.

  • President Lincoln signed Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 which led to the freeing of slaves.
  • 186,000 African American soldiers served with volunteer regiments during Civil War.
  • December 18, 1865, 13th Amendment, outlawing slavery was passed by Congress.
  • July 28, 1868, 14th Amendment gave blacks citizenship in the United States

Road to Citizenship


buffalo soldiers

The Act of 1866 allowed blacks to join regular peacetime army.

  • Six new black regiments were established: 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 38th-41st Infantry.
  • Later the 38th-41st Infantry was consolidated to the 24th and 25th Infantry.
  • The black troops became known as the “Buffalo Soldiers”.
  • The name “Buffalo Soldier” was given to black troops by Native Americans in the comparison of the buffalo’s coat and the hair of the Soldier's head.

Buffalo Soldiers


henry o flipper

Henry Ossian Flipper born into slavery in Thomasville, Georgia.

  • 1st African American to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1877 at the age of 21 and earn a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army.
  • Became the first non-white officer to lead Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry.
  • Flipper’s military career was cut short when he was court-martialed for embezzlement of government funds which later lead to his dishonorable discharge.

Henry O. Flipper


black medal of honors 1866 1890

14 African-American soldiers and 4 Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts received the highest army award during frontier Indian Wars.

  • 9th Cavalry: Sgt. Thomas Boyne, Sgt. John Denny, Cpl. Clinton Greaves, Sgt. Henry Johnson, Sgt. George Jordan, Sgt. Thomas Shaw, Sgt. Emanuel Stance, Augustus Walley, Sgt. Moses Williams, Cpl. William Wilson, Sgt. Brent Woods
  • 10th Cavalry: Sgt. William McBryar
  • 24th Infantry: Sgt. Benjamin Brown, Cpl. Isaiah Mays
  • Indian Scouts: Pompey Factor, Adam Paine, Issac Payne, Sgt. John Ward

Thomas Shaw

Black Medal of Honors1866-1890


colonel charles young

He was born March 12, 1864, to ex-slaves in the little hamlet of Mays Lick, Kentucky.

  • He was the third black graduate of West Point in 1889.
  • Charles Young distinguished himself throughout his military career with the Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th and 10th Cavalries, and the 25th Infantry.
  • He also served as Professor of Military Science at Wilberforce University, Ohio.
  • In 1903, Young was assigned "Acting Superintendent" of Sequoia National Parks in California.
  • This made him the first black superintendent in the National Park Service.

Colonel Charles Young


daniel hale williams

Graduated from Northwestern University School of Medicine.

  • In 1893, Williams repaired the torn pericardium of a man who had suffered a knife wound to the heart and was only the second person to perform surgery around the heart up this time.
  • It is thought by some that Williams was the first man to perform open-heart surgery. This is controversial since some do not consider operations on the pericardium “true open-heart surgery.”
  • Williams went on to be Surgeon-in-Chief of Freedmen's Hospital (later Howard University). He also established a training school for African-American nurses at this facility.

Daniel Hale Williams


lift every voice and sing


  • This song is also known as “the Black National Anthem.”
  • It is sung by African-Americans as a way to show patriotism and hope for the future. It can also be seen as a way to speak out against racism and inequality.
  • The first verse is most commonly heard:
    • “Lift ev'ry voice and sing,
    • 'Til earth and heaven ring,
    • Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
    • Let our rejoicing rise
    • High as the list'ning skies,
    • Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
    • Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
    • Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
    • Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
    • Let us march on 'til victory is won.”

“Lift Every Voice and Sing”


tuskegee airmen

This is the popular name of the group of African-American pilots during WWII.

  • With 996 men, the Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the U.S. armed forces.
  • Formally, they were the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps.
  • The Tuskegee Airmen were subject to racial discrimination, both within and outside the army.
  • Despite these adversities, they trained and flew with distinction destroying 251 aircraft and winning more than 850 medals.

Tuskegee Airmen


jackie robinson

April 19, 1947

  • Robinson became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era. He played with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
  • Jackie became the first African American inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
  • Robinson was a key figure in the establishment and growth of the Freedom Bank, an African-American owned and controlled entity, in the 1960’s.
  • Jackie also wrote a syndicated newspaper column for a number of years, in which he was an outspoken supporter of both Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and, less so, Malcolm X.

Jackie Robinson


harry s truman

The 33rd President of the United States (1945–1953)

  • One of Truman’s greatest accomplishments was Executive Order 9981.
  • July 26, 1948, Truman signed the Executive Order that ended segregation in the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Black and white fought side by side in the Korean War.

Harry S. Truman


brown v board of education of topeka

This is the famous court case of 1954.

  • The United States Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to segregate public schools based on race.
  • There were 13 plaintiffs speaking on behalf of 20 children that were affected in four schools.
  • Schools in Topeka, Kansas, were separated by race under a Kansas law passed in 1879.
  • Monroe Elementary School (seen here) was the one which Linda Brown, daughter of the plaintiff (Oliver Brown), attended after the ruling.

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka


dr martin luther king jr coretta scott king

Married on June 18, 1953.

  • Both played a major role in paving the way for the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Dr. King was a very strong public speaker and promoted non-violence and equal treatment for all.
  • Dr. King also led non-violent protests against segregation in the South. One of the most famous was the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
  • The March on Washington was led by Dr. King in an attempt to end racial discrimination.
  • Mrs. King established the King Center as a legacy to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Coretta Scott King


rosa parks

She was dubbed by the U.S. Congress as the "Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement".

  • Parks is famous for her refusal to obey bus driver James Blake's demand that she relinquish her seat to a white passenger on December 1, 1955.
  • After she was charged, it led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott which lasted for a little over a year.
  • Her role in American history earned her an iconic status in American culture, and her actions have left an enduring legacy for civil rights movements around the world.

Rosa Parks


malcolm x

Malcolm X was a Black Muslim Minister and national spokesman for the Nation of Islam.

  • Founded the Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the Organization of Afro-American Unity.
  • Malcolm X became one of the most prominent black nationalist leaders in the United States and ultimately rose to become a world-renowned African American/Pan-Africanist and human rights activist.
  • As a militant leader, he advocated black pride, economic self-reliance, and political identity.
  • His legacy today is a symbol of liberation across the world.

Malcolm X


sidney poitier

Poitier started out in the US Army and eventually moved on to try his hand at acting. He failed at first and was determined to refine his skills.

  • Poitier defied racial stereotyping and gave a new credibility of black actors in mainstream films in the Western world.
  • His first gig was in the Broadway production "Lysistrata,” for which he received great reviews and a lot of attention. He was one of very few black actors at the time.
  • He was the first black actor to be nominated and to win an Academy Award (Oscar) for The Defiant Ones (1958) and Lilies of the Field (1963) respectively.

Sidney Poitier


1966 texas western utep basketball

First time an NCAA Division I school had an all black starting lineup.

  • Led by Don Haskins, this team went on to win the NCAA Division I Championship in Men’s Basketball.
  • Thought by some to be the team that changed American sports.
  • The impact that UTEP’s championship had on the nation was huge. Many other major state universities went on to recruit black athletes.
  • The movie Glory Road is based on this true story.

1966 Texas Western (UTEP) Basketball


bill cosby

During the 1980’s, Cosby produced and starred in what is considered one of the decade's defining cultural sitcoms, The Cosby Show.

  • The sitcom featured an upper-middle class African-American family without resorting to the kinds of stereotypes previously seen among African Americans in prime time television.
  • Cosby has a doctorate in Education and served as a spokesman for Jell-O, Kodak and Coca-Cola.
  • His good-natured, fatherly image has made him a popular personality and earned him the nickname of "America's Black Dad."

Bill Cosby


maya angelou

A world famous poet, author, historian, singer and civil rights activist who was raised in segregated rural Arkansas.

  • A writer, best known for her first work, an autobiography, called I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
  • Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, Emmy and Tony Awards and won Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for On the Pulse of Morning.
  • First African-American woman admitted to the Directors Guild of America.
  • Angelou is committed to promoting black civil rights and examining the nature of racial oppression, racial progress and racial integration.

Maya Angelou


muhammad ali

Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. January 17, 1942

  • Ali is a former professional boxer, and is a philanthropist and social activist.
  • Has held title of World Heavyweight Champion three times, North American Boxing Federation championship, and Olympic gold medal.
  • He is remembered by his masterful self-promotions and psychological tactics before, during, and after fights and his supreme skill that enabled him to become a world wide icon.
  • The Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky was built in honor of Ali’s achievements and focuses on core themes of peace, social responsibility, respect and personal growth.

Muhammad Ali


oprah winfrey

In 1998, Winfrey began Oprah's Angel Network, a charity aimed at encouraging people around the world to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged others.

  • With a 2005 net worth of $ 1.4 billion, Winfrey is believed to have been the richest African Americans in the world.
  • At the end of the 20th century, Life magazine listed Winfrey as both the most influential woman and the most influential black person of her generation. Later, in a cover story profile the magazine called her "America's most powerful woman”.

Oprah Winfrey


robert stanton

Stanton started as a seasonal ranger at Grand Teton National Park in 1962.

  • Stanton also served the NPS as a superintendent, deputy regional director, assistant director, and regional director of the National Capital Region before retiring in January 1997.
  • In August 1997 the Clinton administration restored him to active duty, as the first African American director of the NPS.
  • Stanton took particular interest in increasing the diversity of the service's staff and public programs to better serve minority populations.

Robert Stanton


colin powell

Served as Secretary of State from January 2001 to January 2005 under George W. Bush, the highest ranking African American ever in the Executive Branch at that time.

  • Was the highest ranking African American in the military in the history of the United States.
  • Powell served as a professional soldier for 35 years and took on many positions, ending his military career as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  • After September 11, Powell's job became of critical importance in managing America's relationships with foreign countries in order to secure a stable coalition in the War on Terrorism.

Colin Powell


clarence thomas

Thomas grew up in Georgia and was educated at the College of the Holy Cross and at Yale Law School.

  • In 1974, Thomas was appointed an Assistant Attorney General in Missouri and subsequently practiced law there in the private sector.
  • In 1990, President George H. W. Bush nominated him for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
  • On July 1, 1991, after 16 months of service as a judge, Thomas was nominated by Bush to fill Thurgood Marshall's seat on the United States Supreme Court, becoming the second black Supreme Court Justice.

Clarence Thomas


barack obama

With a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, President Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961.

  • He was raised by grandparents of middle class status.
  • In 1991, Obama graduated from Harvard Law School where he was the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review.
  • After working his way through college, he moved to Chicago.
  • Obama served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned.
  • Obama became the 44th President and first African American President of the USA on January 20, 2009

Barack Obama


i have a dream august 28 1963

"It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual."

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

"Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring—when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children—black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics—will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal. 'I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood."

"This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day."

“I Have A Dream” August 28, 1963