Black History Month 2022

1976 1977-1981 1982

38 Gerald Ford | 39 Jimmy Carter | 40 Ronald Reagan

Black Power Affirmative Action Mass Incarceration

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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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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