Black History Month

FebruaryMarch 2021 April


Moynihan Report Released

Washington, D. C. - The Moynihan Report ('The Report') was released. Daniel Patrick Moynihan released a government study. It described the plight of black Americans, in the United States.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan was Assistant Secretary of Labor for Policy, Planning and Research. He served from 1963 to 1965. This period covered the John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson presidencies.

His work during this period, was used for the War on Poverty. Part of that work was The Moynihan Report. It was released during the height of the Civil Rights movement.

The Report stated the black family was at fault. It concluded family pathology led to black dysfunction. It blamed single mothers and absent fathers for social failure.

In 1971, 'Blame the Victim' was published. It revealed the Moynihan Report to be self-serving and simple-minded. The Report ignored racism and bigotry as causes. It instead relied on the 'cultural deprivation' fallacy. 'Blame The Victim' also called this, Savage Discovery.

United States Banned African Slaves

Washington, D. C. - Thomas Jefferson signed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves. It went into effect, January 1st, 1808.

This did not abolish slavery. It did not emancipate the enslaved. It only made the entry of enslaved people, into the United States, illegal.

Dred Scott Case Decided

Washington, D. C. - Dred Scott v. Sandford was decided. This decision, by the United States Supreme Court, hoped to settle the slave question. Instead, it set the stage for the American Slavery War (1861-1866).

Dred Scott was born in 1799, in Virginia, enslaved. Scott's enslaver was Joe Blow. In 1818, Blow moved to Huntsville, Alabama, with six (6) other enslaved people. Blow farmed, with Scott, until 1830.

In 1830, Blow moved to St. Louis, Missouri. Blow sold Scott to U.S. Army surgeon Dr. John Emerson. Scott was sent to Fort Armstrong in Illinois, by Emerson. At the time, Illinois was a 'free' state.

Illinois abolished slavery, in its State Constitution. 'Free' states still recognized enslavement. However, slave trades were illegal.

In 1836, Emerson moved. He took Scott, to Fort Snelling in the Wisconsin territory (now Minnesota). The territory also abolished slavery.

While in the territory, Scott married Harriet Robinson, who was also enslaved.

On February, 1838, Emerson was sent to Fort Jesup in Louisiana. There, he married Eliza Irene Sanford. Scott and Robinson remained in the Wisconsin territory. Emerson hired out their services while he was away.

While in Louisiana, Emerson sent for Scott and Robinson. During the trip, Robinson gave birth to Eliza. Eliza was born on the Mississippi River, in 'free' territory. It is unclear how Emerson came to enslave Robinson.

In late 1838, Emerson returned to Fort Snelling. In 1840, Sanford took Scott and Robinson to St. Louis, Missouri.

By 1843, Emerson had left the army and died in Iowa territory. Sanford, his wife, inherited his entire estate. This included Scott and Robinson.

In 1846, Scott tried to buy his family's freedom from Sanford, but she refused. Scott went to court.

The United States Supreme Court set a number of precedents in this case. (1) Only whites can be United States citizens. (2) Black people, free or not, are subjects of white rule. (3) Enslaved black people are merchandise. (4) No black person, mulatto, nor Indian can be a citizen.

While this decision did not guarantee the American Slavery War, it was a key step toward it.

Malcolm X Left Nation of Islam

New York, New York - At a press conference, Malcolm X made a formal statement that he left the Nation of Islam. He changed his position from black separatism to black nationalism.

In his remarks, he was open to cooperation with civil rights groups. This included those in the southern states. Malcolm X said he was still a Muslim.

Thursday, March 12, 1964, in a press conference, Malcolm X expanded on his future plans. It was called, 'A Declaration of Independence.'

Breonna Taylor Killed

Louisville, Kentucky - Breonna Taylor was murdered, in her home. The murderers were three (3) white male employees of the Louisville Police Department. They were Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove. Taylor was shot to death in her apartment, in bed, while naked.

The attack began with a no-knock search warrant, for suspected drugs. Just after 12:00 a.m. (midnight), the 3 Louisville Police employees came to Taylor's apartment. Kenneth Walker, Taylor's boyfriend was in the apartment. After Mattingly broke through the door, Walker grabbed his legally licensed gun.

Walker fired one shot, with Mattingly inside the apartment. Of the three police, only Mattingly entered the apartment. There, he fired 6 six shots. Cosgrove fired 12 shots and Hankison fired 10 shots into the apartment from outside.

Walker survived unharmed. The Louisville Police arrested Walker for assault and attempted murder of Mattingly. The charges against Walker were later dropped. The apartment was never searched.

Eli Whitney's Cotton Gin Awarded Patent

Washington, D. C. - The cotton gin was awarded a patent, by the United States government. It was given to Eli Whitney. The patent was not validated until 1807.

The cotton gin exploded the demand for enslaved labor. It was not the primary cause for the massive increases in cotton production, to come. But, it did remove a key bottleneck, that made slavery very profitable.

Origin of the Black Panther

Lowndes County, Alabama - The Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO) was formed. It used the black panther for its voter drives. This was an early step toward the Black Power movement, in the United States.

Some call the LCFO the first Black Panther Party since it used the black panther image. The Black Panther comic book character appeared later, July 1, 1966. The Oakland, California Black Panther Party was founded October 15, 1966.

Slave Trade Act 1807

London, England - The Parliament of the United Kingdom passed An Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. This Act ended the Transatlantic Slave Trade, by law, in the United Kingdom.

Great Britain already ended slavery, in 1772, in Somerset's Case. It was decided slavery had no place on English soil. But, slavery continued in British colonies, until 1833.

Once the United States was formed, the British slave trade became less profitable. Its slave sugar colonies in the Caribbean needed a lot of support. Competition, in sugar, from Spanish Cuba and Portuguese Brazil did not help. Add to that, Britain needed naval support for its India colonies.

The slave colonies of Portugal and Spain traded sugar with Britain for finished goods. Napoleon wanted that trade stopped. Britain controlled sugar refining, and kept it from Napoleon. So, Britain needed its navy to fight Napoleon, not slave trading.

The Napoleonic Wars, declining British sugar profits, India, and trade with Cuban and Brazilian slave colonies, made the British slave trade of Africans pointless. So, the United Kingdom banned it.

Scottsboro Boys Arrested

Southern Tennessee - Nine (9) black youths rode a freight train with several white males and two white women. Near the Lookout Mountain tunnel, a fight erupted between the white and black youths.

The whites got kicked off the train. They went to a sheriff, from the nearby town, Paint Rock, Alabama.

The white youths claimed the black youths assaulted them on the train. The sheriff raised a posse. He ordered the posse to search for and 'capture every Negro on the train.'

All black passengers from the train were arrested. All were charged with assault, by the posse.

The Scottsboro boys were put on trial. It was an all-white jury, white judge, and white prosecutor. 8 of the youths were convicted. They were sentenced to death.

As a result of appeals to the United States Supreme Court, none were executed. The Court ruled that race could not be used to exclude a juror.

Martin Luther King and Malcom X Met

Washington, D. C. - Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. met for only one time. It was at the U. S. Capitol. They attended a filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights bill.

On Thursday morning, it was in the low 70s, and partly cloudy. Malcom X flew from New York. He came and sat in the visitors' gallery, in the Senate. King was in the gallery, on the far end.

Later a press conference was held. As it ended, King and Malcolm X went through separate doors. It is speculated James 67X, made sure they ran into each other.

King offered to shake Malcolm X's hand. As they shook hands, Malcolm X said, 'Now you’re going to get investigated.' Both smiled.