Black History Month 2022

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Chattel Slavery



British Virginia - The first enslaved Africans arrived in the British Colony of VIrigina in 1619.


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Inoculation Brought to America



Boston, American Colonies - Onesimus brought smallpox inoculation to Boston. It saved dozens of lives. It was the first time inoculation was known to whites, in America.

Cotton Mather was a white slaveowner. He enslaved Onesimus. Mather feared smallpox and wanted some way to treat it. Onesimus offered inoculation as a cure. Mather tried it first on enslaved Black Americans. When they did not get sick, Mather used it on his white family.

Thousands got sick from smallpox, in Boston. Hundreds died. Those who were inoculated only died at a 2% rate. That compared to a 10% rate for all others. People in Boston died 5 times as much as those inoculated.

For all the lives saved, neither Mather nor the whites in Boston gave Onesimus his freedom. Instead, Onesimus had to work many more years to buy his freedom from slavery.

Source:
Onesimus Inoculated Boston


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War of 1812



United States - The United States lost the war to Britain.


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Fugitive Slave Act of 1850



Washington, D. C. - The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 became law. It was signed by President Millard Fillmore. It was part of the Compromise of 1850.

This Act gave more power to slave catchers when Black Americans fled across state lines. The Act opened a loophole. It became possible for a slave catcher to enslave 'free' Black Americans. It began with a filed court complaint. If it satisfied the court, the 'free' Black American was enslaved.

The Act of 1793 was more limited. Once a Black American fled across state lines, a slave catcher had to bear the full cost. The slave catcher was only allowed to enter that state, to capture. There was no duty for anyone to help, in the other state.

The Act of 1850 gave more power to the slave catcher. They had the power to demand help. Court officers had to assist, if asked. Part of the cost, was paid out of the U. S. Treasury.

The slave catcher was able to file a criminal complaint against anyone who refused to help. Those who helped Black Americans were open to criminal punishment. This included a financial penalty.

On June 28th, 1864, the Act was repealed.

This act inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe to write the book, Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Source:

1850 Fugitive Slave Act


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Slavery War



United States - The final question of slavery was decided with hundreds of thousands of dead bodies. Black Americans won their freedom, after fighting, and winning the war.


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Black Codes



United States - These laws were a clumsy attempt to re-enslave Black Americans.


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Ku Klux Klan Formed



Pulaski, Tennessee - The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was formed. Six (6) ex-Confederate officers, Frank McCord, Richard Reed, John Lester, John Kennedy, J. Calvin Jones and James Crowe, were its first members.

The KKK was the most violent and racist terrorist group, in United States history (outside of the local police). Its purpose was to harass, attack, and murder Black Americans.

The KKK only allowed white male members. The women's version was the Women of the Ku Klux Klan (WKKK). It has always helped the KKK, in its many forms, until today.

The violence of the KKK led the United States government to pass the Enforcement Acts. These three (3) Acts passed in 1870 and 1871, made the actions of the KKK illegal.

The Enforcement Acts led to a gradual decline in KKK activity.

'The Birth of A Nation' (1915) led to a rebirth of the KKK in 1915. President Woodrow Wilson saw the film at the White House. He called it history written in lightning. This effect led to the era of the second KKK.

This second era of the KKK lasted until World War 2. This was its largest and most powerful period. There were tens of thousands of members all over the country. In the 21st Century, the KKK is very limited, but still aided by the WKKK.


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Reconstruction



United States - As whites tried to oppress black Americans after the Slavery War, laws and policies were created to open society to the newly freed.


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The Colfax Massacre



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


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Massacre at Hamburg



Hamburg, South Carolina - Whites killed six Black American men over a dispute from an Independence Day (4th of July) parade.

Source:

Hamburg Massacre


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Redemption



United States - Whites tired of seeing the progress of Black Americans. This period was the backlash against those gains. It slowly reversed much of the work that was done, after the Slavery War, to protect the newly freed.


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Jim Crow



United States - The system of legal racial segregation lasted until 1965. In theory, non-whites were to have the same access and services as whites. In law and in practice, whites gave themselves prvileges over non-whites in every area of public life. Black Americans were harmed the most, since they were the direct target of Jim Crow laws.


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First Great Migration



United States - Hundreds of thousands of Black Americans moved from the South, to the North.


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Fair Labor Standards Act Denied Black People



Washington, D. C. - President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, into law. The FLSA blocked farm workers. It did not cover domestic workers. At the time, about 65% of Black Americans were farm and domestic workers. The FLSA left them without any legal safeguards.

The FLSA was another piece to Roosevelt's New Deal. With Congress, he helped whites and excluded Black Americans. Not until 1966 were some farm workers given help under the FLSA. This was well after many Black Americans had left the farms for the factories. Domestic workers were added, in 1974.

Source:

Original - Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938

Racist Exclusions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938


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Second Great Migration



United States - Hundreds of thousands of Black Americans moved from the South, due to war and the post-War boom.


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Black Power



United States - Black Power followed the end of racial segregation. Many younger Black Americans saw this as a chance to gain the same benefits from American prosperity as whites. It was an identity based around a shared experience of oppression and violence, by whites. Their power was to be shown with the removal of legal limits on their ability to produce, and compete.


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Project 100,000 Announced



New York, New York - Project 100,000 was revealed in a speech. It was created by Robert Strange McNamara. The Project sent tens of thousands of young, Black American men to Vietnam.

McNamara was the Secretary of Defense. He served from 1961-1968. This included both United States Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy.

McNamara wanted to expand the military in Vietnam. The United States military lacked the manpower. McNamara's solution was young, Black American men.

In 1963, under Kennedy, McNamara increased the military in Vietnam, from 900 to 16,000. Kennedy had problems with Black Americans who fought for Civil Rights. McNamara had a plan to solve the 'Black problem' and Vietnam.

November 22, 1963, Kennedy was killed. McNamara kept his job under Johnson. Johnson faced the same 'Black problem' as Kennedy. But, it was an election year. Johnson wanted nothing to hurt his campaign.

In 1964, McNamara tried a limited military program to target Black American men and Vietnam. It was the Special Training Enlistment Program (STEP). It reduced entry standards to get an extra 15,000 men into the military.

Congress rejected the STEP program. Funding was denied. It was called pointless. STEP used the military to replace existing jobs and education programs.

President Johnson won the election. With Johnson's full support, McNamara expanded his plans to send young, Black American men into Vietnam.

In 1965, once again, Congress denied McNamara funding. Undersecretary of Defense Alfred Fitt said McNamara was furious. McNamara continued without funding.

April, 1966, McNamara reduced the standard to enter the military. The score, for entry, was lowered on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT).

Tuesday, August 23, 1966, McNamara announced Project 100,000. It was at a speech in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. It was before Congress came back from recess.

By 1972, when Project 100,000 closed, more than 340,000 extra men were sent to Vietnam.

Adam Clayton Powell denounced the actions of Johnson and McNamara. He called them, Hitler-ish. Martin Luther King, Jr. condemned the Vietnam War. It was at a speech in New York called, 'Beyond Vietnam.' Muhammad Ali said the Vietnam War was started to get him.


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1967 Detroit Riot



Detroit, Michigan - 43 people died in the worst civil unrest of 1967. The Detroit police killed 14. Michigan National Guardsman killed nine (9).

Sunday, July 23rd, 3:45 a.m., Detroit Police workers raided an after-hours club (or blind pig). The raid was at 9125 12th Street, in the office of the the United Community League for Civic Action. It was above the Economy Printing Company.

Inside, 82 people celebrated the return of two (2) from the Vietnam War. The police expected a few people inside, before the raid.

Once the police left, scavenging began. Later, the police returned. At 7 a.m., some were arrested. The crowds grew. It was mixed, Black American and white.

By mid-afternoon, the fires started. The unrest spread across the city. Mayor Jerome Cavanagh said it was 'critical' but not 'out of control.'

At 7:45 p.m., Cavanagh began a curfew. Alcohol and firearms sales were stopped. 80% of the arrests were Black Americans.

July 24th, President Lyndon B. Johnson sent the Army, to Detroit. Johnson used the Insurrection Act of 1807. The Act was meant for enslaved Black Americans.

July 25th, 8,000 Michigan National Guardsmen entered Detroit. They were almost all white. 4,700 paratroopers joined them. They came from the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions.

July 26th, the Guardsmen killed nine (9) people. None were killed by the Army.

July 27th, ammunition was taken from the Guardsmen. The unrest declined. By July 28th, the chaos ended.


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Affirmative Action



United States - Government programs began to open resources and areas, to Black Americans, in limited areas of society.


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'The Message' Released



Englewood, New Jersey - Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five released the rap song, The Message. It was made as a result of the 1980 New York Transit Strike.


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Mass Incarceration



United States - Whites began the process of putting Black Americans, mostly young men, in jail in massive waves of arrests. The pretense was that there was a crime problem and a drug problem. This combined with the supposed HIV/AIDS scare, which was targeted at Black American women.


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