Official Website

Black History Month 2022

Mar April May

Birmingham Black Rights Campaign



Birmingham, Alabama - The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) planned protests of racial segregation. These protests were led by Martin Luther King, James Bevel, and Fred Shuttlesworth. King called Birmingham the most segregated city in the country.

As the protests continued, volunteers ran low. It was decided to include children. They came from elementary, middle, and high school.

The Commissioner of Public Safety, Eugene 'Bull' Connor acted against the children. Connor sent high pressure water hoses and attack dogs at the children. Hundreds of children and adults were arrested.

40% of Birmingham's population were Black Americans. Yet, none worked for the Birmingham Police Department.

Images of this period showed the harsh brutality of segregation in the South. Whites attacked defenseless and huddled children, because of skin color. The children were no threat to anyone.

Share Or Make A Correction:

Martin Luther King, Jr. Condemned Vietnam War



New York, New York - Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a speech called 'Beyond Vietnam' at Riverside Church. King spoke as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. It was before a crowd of 3,000 people.

King said, 'Stop all bombing of North and South Vietnam. Declare a unilateral truce. I hope it would lead to peace talks. Set a date for withdrawal of all troops from Vietnam. Give the National Liberation Front a role in negotiations.'

The speech was condemned by 168 newspapers across the country. Senator Barry Goldwater (Arizona) said it 'could border a bit on treason.' President Lyndon Baines Johnson immediately ended King's access to the White House.

Source:

Beyond Vietnam

Share Or Make A Correction:

Martin Luther King, Jr. Killed



Memphis, Tennessee - Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered. King was shot at the Lorraine Hotel, on a Thursday, at 6:01 p.m. A 30-06 rifle was used. Only one shot was fired and it hit King in the throat.

The prior year, King condemned the Vietnam War. President Lyndon Johnson turned his back on King, as a result. The war continued, non-stop. Anti-war demonstrations began to increase, the rest of 1967.

On January 30, 1968, a major attack began against the United States in Vietnam. It was the 'Tet Offensive.' The United States military and President Johnson saw that the enemy had no plan to quit.

On March 28, 1968, the Tet offensive ended. The same day, King arrived in Memphis. King led a march, for Black American sanitation workers. The workers had been on strike since February, 1968.

The marchers walked down Beale street. In the back, store windows were broken. As the marchers turned onto Main street, riot police waited. The police attacked. Riot clubs and tear gas were used. King was led away, safely. Hundreds were arrested. A Black American teenager was killed by police.

On Sunday, March 31, 1968, President Johnson went on television, and spoke for 40 minutes. He began with peace talks for the war. At the end, Johnson said he would not run for re-election.

Four days later, King was killed, in Memphis.

Joseph Louw, a 28 year-old South African, took the photograph just before the murder. Some suspect Louw was there working with the FBI and CIA as surveillance of the Black Rights (civil rights) leader.

Share Or Make A Correction:

Walter Scott Killed By Police



North Charleston, South Carolina - Walter Lamar Scott was killed, by North Charleston police worker, Michael Slager. Scott was 50 years of age when he died. Slager was 33 years of age, when he murdered Scott.

Share Or Make A Correction:

Timothy Thomas Killed By Police



Cincinnati, Ohio - Cincinnati police worker Stephen Roach killed Timothy Thomas. The night Thomas was killed, nine police workers chased him, on foot. They had an arrest warrent, with his name on it, for minor infractions. Almost all were for driving without a license and not wearing a seat belt.

During the foot chase, Thomas turned a corner, into a dark alley. Stephen Roach was in the alley and saw Thomas. As Thomas reached to pull up his pants, Roach shot Thomas in the chest, at close range. Thomas died on the way to the hospital. At the time of his death, Thomas was 19 years of age.

Roach was tried and cleared of the killing of Thomas. This shooting led to the most violent riot, in the United States, that year.

Source:

Police Killed Timothy Thomas

Share Or Make A Correction:

Civil Rights Act of 1866



Washington, D. C. - The Civil Rights Act of 1866 passed. It promised equal rights to Black Americans, with whites, after slavery. It came before the Fourteenth Amendment, which adopted much of its language.

The law made it a crime to deprive Black Americans of their legal rights. It was a misdemeanor, if convicted.

Source:

1866 Civil Rights Bill

Share Or Make A Correction:

2001 Cincinnati Riots



Cincinnati, Ohio - The killing of Timothy Thomas by a white Cincinnati police worker, Stephen Roach, led to 3 days of rioting.

Share Or Make A Correction:

The Colfax Massacre



Colfax, Louisiana - Whites killed 150 Black Americans at random because Republicans won control of the state government in the 1872 elections.

Share Or Make A Correction:

Jackie Robinson Joined Major League Baseball



Brooklyn, New York - Jackie Robinson became the first Black American player in the Major Leagues. He made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbetts Field (now demolished).

Black American customers flocked to cities, wherever the Dodgers played. This led to the end of the Negro Leagues of baseball, as it lost its fans to the white Major League.

Share Or Make A Correction:

Abraham Lincoln Killed



Washington, D. C. - Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln was regarded as the greatest President in United States history. He helped win the American Slavery War (Civil War), ended chattel slavery, and united the nation.

Abraham Lincoln was murdered at Ford's Theater. He was shot in the back of the head, while watching a play. His murderer, Booth, was a pro-slavery supporter.

Booth was tracked and found. On April 26, 1865, Booth was shot dead.

Share Or Make A Correction:

2015 Baltimore Protests



Baltimore, Maryland - A local protest began Saturday, April 18th, over the Sunday, April 12th arrest of 25 year-old Freddie Gray, for possession of a knife. The protests began outside the Western district police station, in Baltimore.

The following day, Freddie Gray was killed, while in police custody, on Sunday, April 19th. It was the day after the protests began. For the next 2 weeks, the protests intensified and became violent. Eventually, the Maryland National Guard would take the streets of Baltimore.

There were hundreds of injuries, arrests, fires, and some businesses were looted. The city of Baltimore imposed a curfew and some parts of Baltimore were effectively shutdown during this period.

6 employees of the Baltimore Police Department were arrested. 3 were tried and found not guilty. Charges were dropped against the other 3.

No one was held criminally responsible for the murder of Freddie Gray, while in the custody of the police of the City of Baltimore.

Share Or Make A Correction:

Central Park Five (5)



New York, New York - White police workers and prosecutors falsely tried and convicted five (5) male teenagers of rape. Four (4) were Black Americans. One (1) was Latino. They were charged with the rape of a white woman, in Central Park. She survived.

Four of the youths served 6-7 years in jail. One was tried as an adult, at sixteen (16) years of age. He was in jail for thirteen (13) years.

In 2002, a man was found to be the rapist. The case against the youths was vacated (erased) by the New York courts. None of the white police, prosecutors, nor judge were punished for their actions against the teenagers.

The five sued the City of New York. In 2014, the courts gave them a $41 million total judgment. In 2016, The State of New York settled on a $3.9 million total.

Share Or Make A Correction:

Oklahoma City Bombing



Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - Timothy McVeigh committed the greatest domestic terrorism act until the 9/11 event of 2001. McVeigh was responsble for the destruction of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. It resulted in the deaths of dozens of Black Americans and a total of 168 dead and 680 injured.

Among the dead were more than a dozen children. Some were infants. It was suspected that McVeigh targeted the building specifically to murder Black American women and children. This event exposed the Michigan Militia as a domestic terrorist, white supremacist organization.

McVeigh enlisted in the military at age 20, in 1988. He served in Iraq. McVeigh bragged about decapitating an Iraqi soldier with cannon fire.

On June 11th, 2001, McVeigh was executed by lethal injection.

Share Or Make A Correction:

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised



New York City, New York - Gil Scott-Heron released the song, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. It was recorded at the RCA Studios. The song was sold on the Flying Dutchman label.

It was a popular phrase from the Black Power movement, of the 1960s.

Share Or Make A Correction:

Columbine High School Massacre



Columbine, Colorado - The greatest high school mass murder was committed by Eric Harris, and Dylan Klebold.

Harris and Klebold sought to kill all the Black American students at the school. They only found and killed one, Isaiah Shoels, aged 18. The two (2) murdered eleven (11) others.

At 12:08 p.m., the two killed themselves. This was the birthday of Adolf Hitler.

Share Or Make A Correction:

Derek Chauvin Convicted



Minneapolis, Minnesota - Derek Michael Chauvin was convicted on all charges for the murder of George Floyd. This verdict ended almost a year of protests. They spread overseas and began with the death of Floyd, because of Derek Chauvin's actions.

Share Or Make A Correction:

Third Enforcement Act



Washington, D. C. - The Civil Rights Act of 1871, was the third (and final) enforcement act of the Reconstruction Era. It was to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment.

This act was meant to stop the Ku Klux Klan, White League, and other white supremacists. They attacked duly elected officers of the United States. This act made it a crime that included fines, jail time, and possible civil action.

None of the enforcement acts were ever used to protect Black Americans, despite their intent. The United States Supreme Court stopped any chance of that in the case of United States v. Cruikshank.

Source:

Civil Rights Act of 1871

Share Or Make A Correction:

Black People Denied the Vote



Washington, D. C. - The United States Supreme Court decided States had the power to stop Black Americans from voting.

In the case, Giles v. Harris, Alabama law blocked Black Americans from voter registration. Alabama made a new constitution that required tests to be registered to vote.

The tests were given only by whites. The tests blocked all Black Americans. Jackson W. Giles was a Black American man who wanted to vote. He joined 5,000 other Black Americans who wanted the same. Giles sued in court.

The Federal District Court dismissed the case on procedure. The amount of damages was too small. The case was appealed. It reached the United States Supreme Court. The Court held the law was legal.

Share Or Make A Correction:

Jim Crow Upheld on Trains



Washington, D. C. - The United States Supreme Court upheld race based segregation of passengers on trains (Mitchell v. United States). Arthur Wergs Mitchell was the plaintiff. He was the first Black American Congressman, to win as a Democrat.

On the evening of April 20th, 1937, Mitchell traveled on a train in 1st class, from Chicago. As the train passed through Arkansas, the conductor moved Mitchell to the colored car. Mitchell objected. The conductor threatened him with arrest, if he didn't move.

Mitchell moved to the colored car. He filed suit. The case went to the United States Supreme Court. The decision required interstate trains to provide the same segregated service to both Black American and white customers.

Source:

Arthur Wergs Mitchell

Share Or Make A Correction:

Muhammad Ali Refused Vietnam War



Houston, Texas - Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted to go to the Vietnam War. As a result, the United States government immediately attempted criminal action. The New York State Athletic Commission and the World Boxing Association stripped Ali of his titles, that day.

Share Or Make A Correction:

Rodney King Riots Began



Los Angeles, California - The Rodney King Uprisings (L. A. riots) began.

At 1 p.m. (PST), Monday, April 29th, Judge Stanley Weisberg announced the not guilty verdict, in the Rodney King case. Four white male police workers, of the Los Angeles Police Department had brutally beaten, Rodney King. The jury allowed them to escape punishment for beating an unarmed Black American man.

The verdict, by the all-white jury, outraged the Black American Los Angeles community. Many in Los Angeles felt the white police workers should have been tried in the city. But, they were allowed a trial in the white-friendly area of Simi Valley. Almost no Black Americans lived there.

By 4. p.m., civil disturbances erupted in parts of Los Angeles. By 5 p.m., the disturbances exploded into what became known as the Rodney King Uprisings (L. A. riots).

This period of civil unrest lasted until May 4th, with 63 people killed.

Share Or Make A Correction:

.22 caliber killer Caught



Buffalo, New York - James Gerard Christopher (aka The Midtown Slasher) murdered up to thirteen (13) Black American men. Christopher was an Army enlistee. He was indicted (charges filed) for the murder of 3 Black American men.

Christopher was implicated in the murder of 8 Black American men. An additional nine (9) Black American men survived with injuries.

Christopher only targeted Black American men. He claimed to have murdered five (5) more Black American men (for a total of 13). Christopher died in Attica Prison, New York, at age 37, March 1st, 1993.

Share Or Make A Correction:

Louisiana Purchase Agreement Signed



Paris, France - This agreement transferred all claims of Napoleon and the French government, for the Louisiana Territory, to the United States.

Napoleon lacked the force to hold the area. The United States wanted it to expand slavery. Napoleon tried one last time to stay in the Americas. He sent armies to Louisiana and Haiti.

The army sent to Haiti was defeated. So, Napoleon re-routed the Louisiana army to Haiti. It failed, too.

The United States sent a delegation to Paris, France. They were to make an offer for the Louisiana Territory. The delegation was surprised when the French offered it to them, first.

A deal was quickly arranged. The deal was signed and the document arrived in Washington, D. C. (July 14th, 1803).

From that deal, the Mississippi Valley area was opened to the United States. This territory doubled the size of the United States. It opened a vast new area to enslave Black Americans.

The agreement never recognized the claims of non-whites that already lived in the area (tribal peoples). It greatly expanded the internal slave trade.

Share Or Make A Correction:

Cosby Show Ended



New York, New York - The Cosby Show ended after the 8th season. It ran from 1984-1992. The ground-breaking Black Americans cast was headed by Bill Cosby. The Cosby Show introduced affluence and middle-class aspirations to audiences across America.

In the 1970s, television (TV) showed Black Americans with modest lives. The stories showed the daily financial struggles of Black Americans. This was usually done in a comedic manner (Sanford and Son, Good Times, What's Happening). The Cosby Show represented a hard shift from the dynamic of economic struggles to one of economic affluence.

First, was The Jeffersons (1975-1985). It showed a solidly middle-class Black American family. The husband was self-made, with modest schooling. His hard work made his family upwardly mobile. He owned a retail service business. His wife stayed home. They employed a Black American maid.

The Cosby Show presented Black Americans as high-earning, educated, professionals. The father, Cosby, was a doctor. The mother, Claire, was a lawyer. They owned a valuable home in a white neighborhood.

It was part of a wave of TV shows that flaunted wealth. Dallas (1978-1991), Dyansty (1981-1989), and Falcon Crest (1981-1990) were the white versions of this era.

During its time, The Cosby Show was a ratings powerhouse. It allowed NBC to create an entire night of highly rated television (TV) shows. From Cosby, white shows such as Cheers, Family Ties, Night Court, Seinfeld, and Frasier enjoyed tremendous success.

Before The Cosby Show, NBC did not have very many successful shows on Thursday night. For this reason, many say Cosby saved NBC's prime-time lineup.

Some criticized The Cosby Show for not showing Black American life properly. Cosby made no mention of the War on Drugs, AIDS, and street crime. These were raging issues during its run. The show ignored issues of poverty, police brutality, housing, and job discrimination.

Lisa Bonet got pregnant, while a part of the cast. She was unwed. It was an opportunity to show single motherhood. Instead, Lisa Bonet was fired from the cast and the issue was dropped.

Despite the criticisms, The Cosby Show gave Black Americans a positive and uplifting image. Its impact shaped future TV shows that had Black Americans, for decades.

Share Or Make A Correction:

Menu