Black History Month 2024

'memphis' - 3 results

Memphis Massacre



Memphis, Tennessee - It was one of the worst race riots in Memphis history (began Tuesday and ended Thursday). Whites killed Black Americans for 3 days.

The massacre began after white police shot at Black Army veterans, from the Union Army. There were prior complaints of police brutality. Yet, none had been resolved.

After the shooting incident, white mobs raced into areas where Black Americans lived, in Memphis. Thus began a days long rampage of whites who murdered, burned, and raped in the Black American community.

More than 46 Black Americans were murdered. Two (2) whites died. No whites died because of Black Americans. Whites injured 75 Black Americans, robbed over 100, and raped five (5) women.

Whites destroyed 91 homes, four (4) churches and eight (8) schools. White mobs destroyed every Black American church and school in Memphis. By Thursday, May 3rd, Federal troops had restored order.

By 1870, the Black American population of Memphis had fallen by 25%, compared to 1865. No one was charged or held accountable. No Black American was compensated for their loss.

The Federal government refused prosecution. They claimed it was a state matter. The State of Tennessee and local officials refused to investigate or charge anyone for the mayhem.


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First Black Professional Baseball League



Atlanta, Georgia - The name of the first Black American baseball league was the Southern League of Colored Base Ballists. The Georgia Champions’ won against the Memphis Eclipse. The score was 11-10.

The league only lasted one year. But, it was not the last. The next year, the National Colored Base Ball League began in 1887. The leagues were formed due to racial exclusion laws in the United States.


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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.


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