Black History Month 2024

1968 1969-1983 1984

36 Lyndon B. Johnson | 37 Richard M. Nixon | 38 Gerald Ford

Black Power Affirmative Action Mass Incarceration

1941-1970
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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1969-1984
Affirmative Action



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

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June 7, 1969
Youngest American Killed in Vietnam War



West of Hội An, Quảng Nam Province, Vietnam - Dan Bullock was the youngest soldier to die in the Vietnam War. He was a Black American teenager, and only 15 years of age. His rank was private first class in the United States Marines.

Bullock was born December 21, 1953, in Goldsboro, North Carolina. His mother died when he was 12 years of age. He moved to Brooklyn to live with his father. Due to his life in Brooklyn, he joined the military.

On December 10, 1968, Bullock finished army basic training (boot camp). He was 14 years of age.

On May 18, 1969, he was sent to Vietnam. In three (3) weeks, he was killed, while on night watch duty.

Until 2000, there was no marker for his grave. His name appeared on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. It was placed on Panel 23W, Row 96.

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December 3-4, 1969
Fred Hampton Killed By Police



Chicago, Illinois - Fred Hampton was killed, in bed, in his apartment. Chicago police workers killed him. Hampton was unarmed and asleep, and in bed.

On Wednesday, December 3rd, Fred Hampton taught a political education course. It was at a local church. Members of the Black Panther Party attended. This was the night before his death.

After the class, several Black Panthers went to his Monroe Street apartment to spend the night. This was routine after a course.

Besides Hampton, the group included Deborah Johnson, Blair Anderson, James Grady, Ronald 'Doc' Satchell, Harold Bell, Verlina Brewer, Louis Truelock, Brenda Harris, and Mark Clark.

William O'Neal waited for them, when they arrived. O'Neal was chief of security. There, the group ate a late meal, prepared by O'Neal. The time was around midnight.

O'Neal slipped drugs into Hampton's drink. It was the barbiturate sleep agent secobarbitol. Hampton consumed the drink during the dinner.

The drug sedated Hampton. It kept him asleep, during the police raid. O'Neal left at this point.

At about 1:30 a.m., December 4th, Hampton was on the phone with his mother. He fell asleep, mid-sentence.

At 4:00 a.m., a heavily armed tactical unit, of white males, went to Hampton's apartment. They were sent by the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. They were joined by the Chicago Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

At 4:45 a.m., the tactical unit and Chicago Police shot first. They shot 90 times into Hampton's apartment. Only Mark Clark fired a shot, after being shot first.

Hampton survived the barrage. He was still breathing. The Chicago Police executed him. A point-blank shot was fired, that killed Hampton.

This was part of the FBI's Counter-Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO).

William O'Neal committed suicide on January 15th, 1990 (Martin Luther King Day). O'Neal ran into oncoming traffic on a Chicago expressway. An automobile hit and killed O'Neal.

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February 18, 1971
Nixon Began HMOs



Washington, D. C. - President Richard Nixon announced the health maintenance organization (HMO). These schemes were used to limit access to health care to Black Americans. As HMOs spread and grew in size, health care access in the United States declined.

50 years later, the United States had one of the least effective and most expensive health care systems in the world. Many Americans went broke from unpaid medical bills.

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March 8, 1971
COINTELPRO Made Public



Media, Pennsylvania - Documents were stolen that exposed COINTELPRO. They were taken, at night, in a break-in, from a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) field office.

COINTELPRO stood for COunter-INTELligence PROgram. It was a years-long government effort to disrupt, confuse, and spy on Black Americans and groups. It began at the start of the Black (later Civil) Rights movement, in 1956.

The break-in happened during the 'Fight of the Century' the same day. It was hoped the spectacle of the fight was enough to divert attention from the break-in. The plan was carried out by the Citizen’s Commission. They were never caught. Their names were not known until 2014.

Targets of COINTELPRO were Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, The Nation of Islam, The Black Panther Party, and Fred Hampton, to name just a few victims.

The FBI claimed COINTELPRO ended, in 1971.

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April 19, 1971
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.

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May 21, 1971
What's Going On? Album Released



Detroit, Michigan - Marvin Gaye's What's Going On? album was released. It was one of the most important and timeless recording albums of the Vietnam War era.

Motown founder, Berry Gordy feared the lyrics were too honest. Gaye said the album was a hit. Gordy released the full album on Motown's sub-label, Tamla.

1.'What's Going On' 3:53 (Marvin Gaye, Al Cleveland, Renaldo 'Obie' Benson)
2. 'What's Happening Brother' 2:43 (Gaye, James Nyx Jr.)
3. 'Flyin' High (In the Friendly Sky)' 3:49 (Gaye, Anna Gordy Gaye, Elgie Stover)
4. 'Save the Children' 4:03 (Gaye, Cleveland Benson)
5. 'God Is Love' 1:41 (Gaye, A. Gaye, Stover Nyx)
6. 'Mercy Mercy Me' (The Ecology) 3:16 (Gaye)

Side two
1. 'Right On' 7:31 (Gaye, Earl DeRouen)
2. 'Wholy Holy' 3:08 (Gaye, Benson Cleveland)
3. 'Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)' 5:26 (Gaye, Nyx)

The single, What's Going On?, was released January 20, 1971.

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July 17, 1971
'War on Drugs' Announced



Washington, D. C. - At a press conference, President Richard Nixon spoke on what became the 'War on Drugs.' The phrase was not used during the speech. It was created in news media reports later. Nixon said drug use was 'public enemy number one.'

A member of the Nixon White House said who the 'War' was really to defeat. John Ehrlichman was the White House Domestic Affairs Advisor. He came after Daniel P. Moynihan, of the Moynihan Report. In his role, Ehrlichman helped Nixon deal with the Black American problem, as they saw it.

Ehrlichman made these statements. 'The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.'

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September 9, 1971
'War On Crime' Began



Washington, D. C. - Nixon's Attorney General, John Mitchell, gave a speech that announced the 'War on Crime.' This was the last piece in Nixon's plan to attack Black Americans in the United States. The first was the HMO, to limit access to health care. The second was the 'War on Drugs.'

The speech that started the 'War on Crime' was given at the Conference on Crime Reduction. It used Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) crime statistics. FBI crime counting often under-reported crime in white areas and over-reported it in Black American areas. This data was used to add funding for police and other punitive acts against Black Americans.

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July 24, 1972
Tuskegee Experiment Exposed



Washington, D. C. - A 40 year-long syphilis experiment on Black American men was exposed. The Washington Star reported the story. The United States government used Black American men as test subjects, without their consent.

600 Black American men were used. They were rural farmers. They were never told they had the disease. A cure was known, but the Federal government never treated the men.

The experiment ended only because it was exposed. No one was punished.

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December 22, 1972
Trick Baby Movie Premiered



Chicago, Illinois - Trick Baby was shown for the first time. The movie is notable for the dinner scene. In it, the movie exposed how politics is used to control Black Americans.

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September 21, 1973
The Spook Who Sat By The Door



New York, New York - 'The Spook Who Sat By The Door' movie was shown for the first time. It told the story of a Black American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee.

The CIA used him to showcase racial inclusion. He was put in a useless job, that made the CIA look good. He had other ideas and quit. With his training, he helped Black Americans wage a race war.

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October 12, 1974
The 'Welfare Queen' Was Invented



Chicago, Illinois - The phrase 'Welfare Queen' was used for the first time, in print. The story was by George Bliss, in the Chicago Tribune. It was about Linda Taylor.

Taylor was a career criminal and con-artist. She was charged with many crimes and welfare fraud. Despite welfare being one of many crimes she was alleged to have committed, Bliss used the term 'Welfare Queen' to describe her.

Ronald Reagan used the story in his 1976 Presidential campaign. He argued that poor women used welfare to get over on the system. He used the story of Linda Taylor, as his example.

There were many doubts that the story was true, as told by Reagan. Yet, Reagan used the con-artist as a basis to push his welfare reform policy of the 1980s. Those reforms limited access to welfare to Black American women and children. Black men were already blocked from welfare, except in special cases.

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February 25, 1975
Elijah Muhammad Died



Chicago, Illinois - Elijah Muhammad died. He was born Elijah Robert Poole. Muhammad led the Nation of Islam, for more than 30 years. This period covered the most expansive and dominant period of the Nation of Islam.

Muhammad led the group into the Black Rights movement (later called Civil Rights). This continued through the Black Power movement, and into the integration era. At one time, under his leadership, Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, and Muhammad Ali were all followers.

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September 29, 1975
WGPR Goes On-Air



Detroit, Michigan - The first wholly-owned and operated Black American television (TV) station began its first broadcast. This was a first in the United States. It was founded by William V. Banks. The station had no network affiliation so the station created its own programs.

Banks was an attorney. He founded The International Free and Accepted Modern Masons, Inc. and Order of Eastern Stars. The Masons sold WGPR 20 years later.

On September 20th, 1995, the deal was finalized. It left Black Americans with no control of any TV station in Detroit. No Black American television has broadcast since, in Detroit.

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February 10, 1976
United States Recognized Black History Month



Washington, D. C. - Gerald Ford was the first United States President to recognize February was Black History Month. Every year since, every President has confirmed this tradition.

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January 23-30, 1977
Roots First Aired on Television



Burbank, California - Roots was first broadcast, on ABC (American Broadcasting Company). It was the story of a Black family. It began in Africa, with the birth of a Black child, in 1750.

As the child grew, he reached the age of maturity. There, he began his rites of passage. It was at this time, that he was captured, by white males. These whites made him a slave.

Roots showed his path through the Transatlantic Slave Trade and into American slavery. Slave existence was shown all the way to the American Slavery War. The final part showed life after slavery, the Ku Klux Klan, and a grim future for Black Americans. The time spanned over 100 years of American history.

There were 8 parts. Each was shown over 8 days. All times are Eastern time. Roots Parts 1 and 2 were on Sunday and Monday, 9:00-11:00 p.m.

Parts 3, 4, and 5 were on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from 10:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. Part 6 was on Saturday, from 9:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. Part 7 was on Sunday, from 10:00 p.m - 11:00 p.m.

Roots Part 8 was on last, on Monday, from 9:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. Part 8 was the highest rated of the series. It was the third (3rd) most watched show in television history.

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November 18, 1978
Jonestown Massacre



Barima-Waini (Jonestown), Guyana - (909 dead) Jonestown was a camp for the religious cult-leader, Jim Jones. His cult was known as the Peoples Temple. It began in 1956, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Jones preyed on Black Americans. He focused on Black American women. He was a known womanizer. Jones regularly slept with female members. While the Temple was mostly Black American, the leadership was almost all white. Local whites were upset that the Temple had Black American members. Jones made plans to move the Temple.

In 1966, Jones left Indiana for California. First he went to Redwood Valley. Later, he went to San Francisco. There, Jones became well-known in politics. Yet, there were those who felt he abused his followers. It convinced Jones to leave the country.

In 1974, Jones decided on Guyana. He leased land (3,800 acres) from the Guyana government. The land was in the middle of the jungle. Over time, Jones moved hundreds of his followers to the area. He had a compound built, and called it Jonestown.

On Tuesday, November 14th, Congressman Leo Ryan, Jr. came to Jonestown. He heard reports of abuse and that members were forced to stay. Ryan went with a group that included journalists and aides. They toured the camp and talked to people in Jonestown.

On Saturday, November 18th, at 4:45 p.m. Ryan's group were to leave, from the Kaituma airstrip. It was the first part of their trip back to the United States. As they waited for their flight, Jones followers opened fire.

Ryan, three (3) journalists, and one (1) former Jones member were killed. Ryan was shot twenty (20) times. He was on the runway, to board the plane, to leave. He was the only person, in Congress, to die in the line-of-duty.

Later, that same day, Jones told his followers to drink poisoned (cyanide) Kool-AId. This is where 'drinking the Kool-Aid' started.

Most did not drink the poison, as told by survivors. Many were shot to death by Jones' bodyguards. Others, were intentionally injected with poison. Others were forced at gunpoint. Hundreds of men, women, and children were mass-murdered, on the word of Jim Jones.

The Jonestown Massacre was the largest peacetime loss of American non-military life in United States history, until 9/11. Jim Jones did not escape Jonestown. He was killed, the same night. It was a single gunshot to his head. It was never proved if it was suicide, or murder.

Some suspect Jones was a CIA asset. His death was on orders from the CIA. The reason was the end of the Jonestown project.

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August 1979
First Use of Black-on-Black Crime



Chicago, Illionis - The first use of the phrase, 'Black-on-Black Crime' in national print media, was in the August, 1979 special issue of Ebony Magazine.

Since the early 1960s, whites tried to tie Black Americans to crime. Barry Goldwater tried it in the 1964 election for President. It did not work.

Once the 1965 Watts Riot ended, new calls were made for law and order. Yet, they still were not strong enough to join race with crime. That slowly changed as riots increased through 1967 and 1968.

By 1969, Richard Nixon ran for President as a law and order choice. The tactic of tying Black Americans to crime worked and Nixon was elected.

The term 'Black-on-Black Crime' was still limited in use in the early 1970s. Over the course of Nixon's time in office, the term became more widely used. Yet, by the late 1970s, it was still not a commonly used term in public. Ebony Magazine changed that with its special issue on the phrase.

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April 29, 1981
.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.

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July 1, 1982
'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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October 14, 1982
President Reagan Declared 'War on Drugs'



Washington, D. C. - President Ronald Reagan declared the 'War on Drugs' at the Justice Department. This was the second time the United States government made drugs a policy focus. The first time was by President Richard Nixon, in 1971.

Reagan made his 'drugs' speech years before the crack cocaine hysteria of the 1980s. It came before the mass incarceration law that Reagan signed, in 1984. By the time crack cocaine appeared, all the pieces were in place to wage a legal, civil war against Black Americans. Over the next 20 years, prison rates of young, Black American men exploded.

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January 7, 1983
AIDS Disease Blamed on Black Women



Washington, D. C. - The Center for Disease Control (CDC) made its first attempt to blame AIDS on Black American women. After this report, race was counted as a factor in AIDS.

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) was the AIDS report from the CDC. It made a link betwen Black American and hispanic women and AIDS. Never again, was AIDS questioned as a disease. It made Black American women the face of it.

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