“Facts are stubborn things.”
In the 1860s a terrible war was waged in America.
More Americans died in the civil-war than all other wars.
Those Americans, some noble and others wickedly evil racist.
The noble Americans Black and White stood shoulder-to-shoulder in the fight for freedom for all
Americans regardless of the color of one’s skin.
The noble Americans who fought and died for freedom won the war and yet the battle for freedom was not complete for Black Americans. The fight for equal rights for Black Americans wages on even now in this 21st century. The history of overpowering racism, terrorism from the KKK and an inept federal government, Black Americans throughout history have stood the test of time.
Black American history is quite unigue in all of American history, no other race of people, no other culture of people have endured the horrors and vicious trauma and wicked transgressions of one’s human and civil rights. Despite the unfathomable oppression by White America, Black Americans have found a way to rise above the racism, hate and injustice to be forever noted in history books with awe, wonder and nobility to live, survive and reject the evils that they were subject to for hundreds of years here in America.
Today, it is my honor to list dates in American history that honor our great Black American Trailblazers.
In 1619 the first Africans are brought to an English colony—Jamestown, Va.
On March 5, 1770 Crispus Attucks was the first person killed in the Boston Massacre;
Crispus Attucks was a Black man and he was the first man to die for the freedom of America during the revolutionary war against the British.
In 1808 The U.S. Congress passes a law that prohibits U.S. involvement in the slave trade.
In 1849 Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery; she later returns to the South to help free
300 slaves through the underground Railroad.
In 1856 Wilberforce University, the first Black-American private college is founded.
In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation to free black slaves in southern states in America.
In 1865 The 13th Amendment abolishes slavery in America.
In 1868 the 14th Amendment makes Black Americans citizens.
In 1870 the 15th Amendment gives Black American men the right to vote.
Also in 1870, Joseph Hayne Rainey is the first Black American elected to the
United States Congress.
In 1909 The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is formed.
In 1936 Jesse Owens is the first person in history to win four gold medals at a single Olympics.
In 1941 the War Department forms the Tuskegee Airmen, the first Black-American unit of combat pilots.
In 1947 Jackie Robinson breaks into Major League Baseball, becoming the first Black player in
professional baseball in America.
In 1950 Diplomat Ralph Bunche is the first Black-American to win the Noble Peace Prize.
In 1954 In Brown VS. Board of Education (Topeka) the U.S. Supreme Court declares that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.
In 1955 Rosa Parks is arrested and taken to jail for refusing to give up her paid seat on a public bus to a white man. Her arrest sparks a 381 day bus boycott and the modern civil rights movement is born.
Today Rosa Parks is remembered as the Mother of civil rights in America.
In 1960 The sit-in movement was born in Greensboro, North Carolina when Black college students insist on service at a local lunch counter.
In 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is introduced to the nation when he delivers what is certainly the most important seventeen minute speech in all of American history, I HAVE A DREAM.
In 1964 President Lyndon Baines Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act, prohibiting racial discrimination in employment, voting and the use of public facilities.
In 1968 Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. is assassinated and the nation erupts in flame and riots all across America.
Also in 1968, Shirley Chisholm is the first Black woman elected to the U.S. Congress.
Dick Gregory is the first Black American to run for president.
In 1989 General Colin Powell becomes the chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, making him the first Black officer to hold the highest military position in America.
In 1999 all 50 states legally recognize the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday for the first time.
In 2009 Senator Barack Hussein Obama is elected 44th president of the United States.
The first African-American to hold the office of president in America.
On September 24th 2016 in Washington D.C. the first national African-American museum opened it’s doors at a cost of $540 million dollars.
Finally, before I rest my pen I would like to go back to one man who is so often overlooked in American history sadly. I say sadly, because if you asked anyone standing next to you to tell you about Crispus Attucks they would not have a clue who you were talking about, and he is the man, the first man in fact that died on March 5th 1770 so all Americans would be free, yet we don’t know about him…
how utterly shameful!