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Federated Freedom Struggles: Student Created Timeline

Honors Modern Western Civilizations Spring 2021


18th century

1776- The Declaration of Independence was signed in the Pennsylvania State house by fifty-six delegates, including several founding fathers. The declaration stated Americans were no longer a part of English rule, but instead a new free nation. 

1776:  Thomas Jefferson wanted to include in the Declaration of Independence that slave trade should be condemned, but the southern colonies pressured to have it removed.

1776-1787: The establishment of the “Maroon Colony”. Maroons was a term for runaway slaves, they formed a band of guerrilla fighters called the “King of England’s Soldiers”. These fighters conducted raids on plantations and troops, the Georgia militia destroyed their village and killed their leader. (1776-1800: Paradox of freedom and slavery, 2008)


1797- Second protest to speak out against slavery, the free in Philadelphia were protesting for the freedom of the supposed “free slaves” from North Carolina. The were being re-enslaved, this was an excessively big step backwards for the abolitionists in the north.


1780- The Antislavery northerners helped the "enslaved people escape from southern plantations to the North" by using the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was safe for slaves because it serves as a sanctuary and helps them escape their owners.


1787: The Three-Fifths Compromise was established, and southern states took advantage of African American slaves. This compromise stated that every three out of five slaves were counted as people to give southern states more seats in congress.


1787 a slavery is banned in a new Virginia territory; the Free African Society is established in Philadelphia this is the first independent black organization. This society run by African Americans provided a place of aid for many.


1788 Pennsylvania passes the law to prevent African Americans from being forcefully removed from the state. Fugitive slaves were being removed and forced back to their plantations this law prevented many from doing so.

1788: The U.S. Constitution was passed, promising to secure the freedom and liberty of the American people. This only applied to men who were white and owned property. Slave ownership was still rampant during this time.

1789- The Bill of Rights consists of ten amendments. These amendments were related to the civil rights movement, although it took African Americans years to be granted the freedoms stated in the ten amendments. 

1793- In the Rural South, the cotton industry prospered which increased the demand of enslaved African Americans. The Congress also passed the "Fugitive Slave Act". It means that the federal government will find the escaped slaves to be returned to their owners. This moment shows the belittlement of the government toward the Africans because they were trapped without the right of freedom.

1794: Absalom Jones and Richard Allen established the first black churches in protest of segregation in America. This allowed black people to express themselves independently through their own beliefs.


1794: The Slave Trade Act was established. This law limited the involvement of America in transporting African American slaves.

1798- Thomas Jefferson and James Madison wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions. The resolutions stated that the Alien and Sedition Act were not constitutional, giving the president to0 much power to decide on who could be deported from the country

19th century

1804: Haiti declares its independence to become the first black republic in the Western Hemisphere. Slaves revolt kill their masters, and many mixed-race, primarily Catholic blacks flood the United States resettling primarily in Louisiana and Maryland. It sparks fear into U.S. slaveholders and gives inspiration to U.S. slaves

1808- The first of January Americans are banned from being apart of the African slave trade. This starts the beginning of the end of “slavery” in the United States.

1808: The Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves of 1808 - This act made effective by the constitution was to no longer import any new slaves into the United States. 


1821: Black Emigration to Liberia begins. “The American Colonization Society establishes the Black Republic of Liberia in West Africa. Founded four years earlier by Robert Finley, a white Presbyterian clergyman, the American Colonization Society and its mission to resettle free American blacks in Africa is opposed by the A.M.E. Church. (Cross).”


1822: Public schools allow black people with the condition of being segregated from white people. Segregation became a major factor of discrimination.

1829- David walker published “Walker’s appeal” encouraging slaves to turn on their masters. There celebrated were people needing to be heard and understood these articles were a big part in being the last bit of encouragement to many.


1831: The Liberator Newspaper is born - On January 1st, 1831, William Lloyd Garrison published the first anti-slavery newspaper in Boston. 


1831: Tice Davids escapes his owners from Kentucky to Ohio, blamed on an “underground railroad”. The Underground Railroad was neither underground nor a railroad. It was Quakers, whites and fugitive slaves helping free current slaves in the covers of darkness. Harriet Tubman was the most famous conductor of the Underground Railroad. (, editors, 2009)

1831- America's Antislavery activists started voicing out through journals. William Lloyd Garrison was a journalist who "founded the abolitionist newspaper titled as The Liberator."

1831: The Nat Turner Revolt “the only effective slave rebellion in U.S. history”. Turner and a small group killed their owners and set off for the town of Jerusalem to capture an armory and recruit more members. Over a 100 enslaved and innocent bystanders died in this two-day revolution. Nat Turner was caught and died by hanging. (, editors, 2018)

1833: By this time, the number of slaves in the United States has tripled. Some whites and blacks join together to form the Anti-Slavery Society led by William Lloyd Garrison.

1838- The Pennsylvania hall was built, made with over $40,000 in donations and with shares of more than 2000 people. This hall was burnt down by a mob as well as a black children’s orphanage. The act was blamed on the citizens of Philadelphia for attempting to “race mix”.


1839- Amistad was a slave ship which illegally took Africans from Havana. During the voyage, the crew brutally mistreated Africans which led to the slaves revolting and killing some of the crew members demanding the crew to take them east. However, instead the crew turned towards America. The case was put in the Supreme Court where John Adams fought and won the case for the African’s freedom.


1839: While on the Spanish ship, Amistad, the slaves that were being transported on it, took over the ship and then sailed it to Long Island.  During a Supreme Court case the slaves eventually won their freedom.  This became known as the Amistad Case.

April 1846: The Dred Scott case, also known as Dred Scott v. Sanford, was a decade-long fight for freedom by a Black enslaved man named Dred Scott. The case persisted through several courts and ultimately reached the U.S. Supreme Court, whose decision incensed abolitionists, and gave momentum to the anti-slavery movement while also serving as a stepping stone to the Civil War.

1846 - Former slave Frederick Douglas published another anti-slavery newspaper called the North Star. 


1846: Frederick Douglas publishes his work about his life from 1818 when he was born into slavery in Maryland to 20 years later when he escaped. This sparks the beginning of a career for him of speaking and writing promoting abolition of slavery and improving the social and economic conditions of African Americans.


1849 - Harriet Tubman escapes slavery and leads slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad. 


1849: After Harriet Tubman escaped slavery, she risked her life to help other slaves escape through an underground railroad. Harriet Tubman became a well-known hero to African American slave

1850: Former slave, Isabella, born into slavery in 1797 in Kingston, New York is told it is “God’s natural order” for her to be enslaved until she reaches the age of 30 and claims she hears God’s voice asking her to set out on her own as a free woman. She changes her name, begins preaching abolition and women’s suffrage. She meets with Grant and Lincoln as she becomes popular. Her work is published in 1850 as The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave.

1850: The Compromise of 1850 forced citizens of America to help return escaped slaves to their owner. This compromise led to great fear amongst slaves that had the opportunity to gain freedom.

1850: Fugitive Slave Act--this allowed both escapees and free slaves in the north to be recaptured and/or enslaved.

1851-1852: “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” a novel written by Harriet Beecher Stowe. The book is said to have helped lay the groundwork for the civil war. It gained popularity among white readers for “vividly dramatizing the experience of slavery (Uncle Tom’s Cabin, n.d)” and had a profound effect on how slaves where perceived.

1854: John Mercer Langston was the first black man to become a lawyer. In 1855 he was one of the first black men elected to public office as the town clerk of Brownhelm Township, Ohio.

1859 – John Brown.  In 1859 in Harper’s Ferry Virginia, John Brown an American Abolitionist armed slaves and seized a U.S. arsenal.  This is important as it was a step in fighting for the freedom of slaves.

Apr 12, 1861 – Apr 9, 1865: The Civil War was one of the most historic wars that occurred in the United States. When the civil war started in the year of 1861 the North and the south fought in a series of battles for their beliefs. In the civil war, the union won and beat the south winning the civil war in the year of 1865. When the North won the civil war the slaves were freed and slavery became abolished in confederate territories.

1862 – Emancipation Proclamation.  President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation which stated that as of January 1, 1863 all enslaved people living in states that are a part of the rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”  This is important as it was defining moment in the Civil War and the focus on ending slavery.


1862 – 54th Regiment.  During the Civil War, the first African American infantry unit was formed.  It was a voluntary unit comprised of former slaves and free blacks to help fight the confederacy.  Although they were not treated as equal this was an important step as the 54th regiment engaged in battles within South Carolina.  Their success helped expand the black forces of the Civil War.

1863- Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary emancipation proclamation. Lincoln mentioned “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free" to the slavery issue.

1863 - Abraham Lincoln releases the Emancipation Proclamation. This freed the slaves in what was known as rebellious states forever. 


January 1, 1863 The Emancipation Proclamation Issued by President Abraham Lincoln abolishing slavery in the declaration “that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free." This moment sought to end the struggles of the African American community, but despite their newfound freedom, the struggles of this community were only just beginning. 

1863- President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This proclamation stated that all slaves were to be free. Slavery did not disappear overnight and in fact, led to different forms of slavery. This event in history inspired “I Have a Dream Speech” by Martin Luther King Jr.  

1865-1870: The 13th Amendment was added to the Constitution in 1865 and abolished slavery. Three years later, the 14th Amendment declared all Americans born would be insured citizenship. 1870 marked the year of the 15th Amendment and gave all citizens, including African Americans, the right to cast their ballot. These amendments added to bridging the gap of inequality.

1865- The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) were slave patrols, mostly white men riding a horse, that terrorized and punished African Americans. The clan uses violence to put freed Africans back to the plantation.

1865-1866- The new law Black Codes were made to "limit the freedom of African Americans" and to be "used for cheap labor after slavery was abolished". The government still does not treat them poorly and with no respect.


1865 - This was the year the 13th amendment prohibiting slavery became ratified. This was also the same year Lincoln was assassinated and the civil war ended.  


1866:  The Ku Klux Klan was created in Tennessee. This was an American white supremacist hate group. 

1866- Civil Rights Act of 1866 was passed by Congress and stated people born in America were citizens and therefore had unalienable rights, which means the ability to own land and have protection under the law. The United States continued to slowly give African Americans the same rights as whites.

1865-1870: The Civil War Amendments (13th, 14th, 15th) were passed which outlawed slavery, gave equal protection under the law regardless of race, and gave all men the right to vote). These amendments effectively granted freedom and citizenship to Black men and women.

1870- The 15th Amendment were passed to make the citizen's vote eligible despite of their race or color.

1870- Black men are granted the right to vote and Octavius Catto, leader of the National Equal Rights League, is assassinated by a white man. Catto was a popular public figure among African Americans and his life is still celebrated to this day.

1870 – 71: Two major important passes were upheld by congress. Congress passed the 15th Amendment guaranteeing black male Americans the right to vote in 1870. In 1871, congress also passed the Klan enforcement act. The klan enforcement act offered federal protection to black American’s 14th Amendment rights being violated by private citizens instead of the state. These two movements are important because black (male) Americans were finally somewhat given a fair chance at voting like white Americans and black protection was enforced.

1877-1954: Jim Crow laws were a collection of state and local statutes that legalized racial segregation. It also allowed white southerners to re-establish their dominance by prohibiting African Americans to basic human rights.

1896- Segregation laws were passed to separate the whites from blacks. The law, Jim Crow, "persons of color” were required to be separated from white people in railroad cars and depots, hotels, theaters, restaurants, barber shops and other establishments." The African Americans were given rusty and old amenities while the Whites had new and functional amenities to use. It shows the unfair treatment based on skin color.


1887 - The state of Tennessee passes the first “Jim Crow” segregation law, that followed the next almost two decades throughout southern states. 

1896: The Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson, a landmark upholding "separate but equal" racial segregation as constitutional. It was a devastating setback for civil rights, as the legal, social, and political status of the black population reached a low point.


1905: The Niagara Movement was formed by African American activist, W.E.B. Du Bois and he focused on getting similar educational opportunities for African American as the White people were able to obtain.  This was significant because doors for opportunities and equality was being fought for, they wanted the best not the short end of the stick.

1909: the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was formed by W.E.B. Du Bois, a Harvard scholar, and other African American leaders who became advocates for civil rights and Pan-African unity among African and African descendants all over the world. It became the country’s most long-lasting civil rights organization. This later led to lawsuits to help African Americans secure equality in education, employment, housing, and other areas of society.

1909 – NAACP is founded.  This is an important part of the civil right movement because it was a demand for civil rights among black people.  W.E.B. DuBois led a group of people in Canada and formed the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.  Among many things, one of the goals was to end segregation.


1920: Women were able to have right to vote and not just white women. All women which was able to give the African American community a larger position when voting came around. This changed the rights for all African American women because now their voices would be heard by a higher power which was the government.

1941: Executive Order #8802: Established by President Roosevelt, it allowed all government and national defense contracts jobs to be applied for regardless of race, creed or religion.

1941- Executive Order 8802, signed by Franklin Roosevelt, provided fair employment and to prevented racial discrimination in the work force. Roosevelt went against white leaders to sign Executive Order 8802 into action.

1941: President Roosevelt issued an order that stated that government jobs were to be open to all Americans no matter what their color, race, or nationality. This helped all Americans, especially individuals of color to get government jobs.

1947- Jackie Robinson became the first African American player to join a Major League Baseball team. Robinson made history as a trail blazer for other African American athletes to follow in his footsteps. This had an impact on the Civil Rights Movement and changed the exclusion of blacks.

1947 – Jackie Robinson.  Professional baseball up until this point was segregated and no blacks were permitted to play for the white teams.  Jackie Robinson was playing for the Negro American League and was spotted by Branch Rickey, general manager for the Brooklyn Dodgers.  He was signed to play for that team.  This is an important step towards equality because as America’s favorite past time, Jackie Robinson broke the barrier of disallowing blacks to play professional ball.

July 26, 1948: President Harry Truman issues Executive Order 9981 to end segregation in the Armed Services.

July 26, 1948- Harry Truman: President Harry Truman issues executive order 9981 to end segregation in armed services.


1948: President Harry Truman issues Executive Order 9981 to end segregation in the Armed forces. This is important because the government had made interrogations towards the segregated military.


1952 Davis et al. v. The St. Louis Housing Authority An NAACP case, this class-action lawsuit challenged discrimination by the Saint Louis Housing Authority, bringing challenge to the “separate but equal” Jim Crow doctrine which polluted civil rights. The case ended in a victory, gaining a win towards equal housing opportunities for African American citizens. The case was won by two African American women, Frankie Muse Freeman and Constance Baker Motley.

May 17, 1954: Brown v. Board of Education, a consolidation of five cases into one, is decided by the Supreme Court, effectively ending racial segregation in public schools. Many schools, however, remained segregated.

1954- The Supreme Court passed the Brown v. Board of Education were passed to terminate segregation laws because it "violated the 14th Amendment's mandate of equal protection of the laws of the U.S. Constitution to any person within jurisdiction." This is important because it was the start of the Africans to have justice in the school system.

1950 – 1954: In McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents the Supreme Court rules that a public institution of higher learning could not treat students differently solely based on their race. In 1954, the Supreme Court strikes down segregation in public schools in Brown V Board of Education. These two movements are important because they were finally opening doors to equality in the education system between blacks and whites.

1954-1956 Brown versus Board in 1954, was another case ruled by the Supreme Court on segregation. The case was brought to the Court because white and black schools were separate, but not equal. This time the verdict was in favor of not supporting segregation in schools. This event was important to the Civil Rights Movement. In Montgomery, Alabama in 1956, Rosa Parks was arrested for protesting segregation on a bus.  

1955: Emmett Till, a 14 year old from Chicago was brutally murdered for allegedly flirting with a white woman. This case was important because it showed how white women take advantage of their privilege and power in order to harm innocent black civilians, which is still prevalent in today’s society.

August 28, 1955: Emmett Till, a 14-year-old from Chicago is brutally murdered in Mississippi for allegedly flirting with a white woman. His murderers are acquitted, and the case brings international attention to the civil rights movement after Jet magazine publishes a photo of Till’s beaten body at his open-casket funeral.

1955- Two White men admitted killing Emmett Till, black 14-year-old, after flirting with a white woman. The two white men were "acquitted of murder charges by an all-white, all-male jury." The law was once again not followed by the high authorities.

August 28, 1955: The Murder of Emmett Till A 14-year-old boy is murdered under the accusation that he whistled at a white woman; his murderers were acquitted. Both President Harry Truman’s silence on this matter, and the injustice of this murder, speak volumes regarding the blind eye many Americans turned towards the violence and injustices faced by African Americans.

1955- Rosa Parks refused to give her seat to a "white man on a Montgomery, Alabama bus." She was arrested because Black passengers were supposed to sit in the back of the bus. The Montgomery Improvement Association, activist organization, was led by Martin Luther King, Jr., their goal was to boycott the Montgomery Company by doing a nonviolent protest. This also affects the 14h amendment and the segregation laws, which one to follow.

1955: Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on the bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama. This was important because it prompted a year-long Montgomery bus boycott.

December 1, 1955: Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Her stance prompts a year-long Montgomery bus boycott.

1957- Martin Luther King, Jr, sixty black pastors, and civil rights leaders from southern states went to Atlanta, Georgia to do a "nonviolent protests against racial discrimination and segregation." It is important because the groups joined all together to ask for justice and equality.

January 10-11, 1957- Martin Luther King Jr. and sixty black pastors and civil rights leaders, met in Atlanta Georgia. There they coordinated nonviolent protests for racial discrimination and segregation.

1957: The Southern Christian Leadership Conference was created and led by Martin Luther King Jr. to abolish legalized segregation and address the issues black southerners faced. This led to nonviolent protests against racial discrimination and segregation.

September 4, 1957 Little Rock Nine Although school segregation was ended in 1954, many southern states continued the practice, including Central High School. This group of 9 students braved segregation and enrolled in the all-white school where they were met by violence, hate, protesters, and the Arkansas National Guard. President Eisenhower intervened to ensure integration. This event was televised, making international news, and brought much needed attention to the issue of segregation.

1957: Malcolm X stands up to the Police who had brutality beaten another respected Islamic member. This was an important event because it showed people in the community if you stand your ground, you can stand for what is right even without retaliating.

1958 Cooper v Aaron Supreme rules in a landmark decision that denied Arkansas the right to pass legislation undermining the Court’s ruling of Brown v The Board of Education. This case not only cushioned the success of the Brown case, it also showed states that they would be bound by federal court orders in the matter of segregation.  

 1960- Four African American college students did not leave the lunch counter at Woolworth's without being served food. They were inspired by the Greensboro Sit-In movement-- "a nonviolent protest practiced by Gandhi." It is important because they effortlessly found a way to ask for equality with a simple gesture and it became nationwide.

February 1,1960- Four African American guys refuse to leave a white only lunch counter in North Carolina. They are known as the Greensboro Four, they are Ezell Blair Jr., David Richmond, Franklin McCain and Joseph McNeil. They eventually started to sit in throughout the city.

November 14, 1960: Six-year-old Ruby Bridges is escorted by four armed federal marshals as she becomes the first student to integrate William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans.

Integrating schools allowed for the next generation to become familiar with the change ultimately ending segregation.

1961: Throughout 1961, black and white activists, known as freedom riders, took bus trips through the American South to protest segregated bus terminals and attempted to use “whites-only” restrooms and lunch counters. The Freedom Rides were marked by horrific violence from white protestors, and drew international attention to their cause.

August 28, 1963: The March on Washington Martin Luther King Jr deliver his infamous “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington demonstration, where approximately 250,000 attended in support. The words delivered in this speech, as well as the other great speakers, were a pivotal part of Civil Rights, peacefully guiding the public eye towards the present injustices faced by African Americans.

August 28, 1963: Approximately 250,000 people take part in The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Martin Luther King gives his “I Have A Dream” speech as the closing address in front of the Lincoln Memorial, stating, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’”

June 11, 1963: Governor George C. Wallace stands in a doorway at the University of Alabama to block two black students from registering. The standoff continues until President John F. Kennedy sends the National Guard to the campus.

While many believed in the civil rights movement there were some who wanted to keep segregation.

1963 – On August 28, 1963, Martian Luther King Jr. delivered “I Have a Dream” speech during a march in Washington. The march called for freedom, employment, and an end to racism. Martian Luther King Jr. had a dream that the United States would have whites and blacks at one table together. It was also the year of the Children’s March in Birmingham, Alabama where young children marched against segregation.

September 15, 1963: A bomb at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama kills four young girls and injures several other people prior to Sunday services


-This bombing created violent protests and increased tension between anti-civil rights and civil rights groups.

August 28, 1963: Martin Luther King uses his “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington to try and link black civil rights aspirations with traditional American political values.

1963- A bomb targeted a Baptist Church at 16th street as "church members prepared for Sunday services" which killed four young girls. I believe this is important because they tragically violated the law and Christian values. It shows that the anger of the white community did not mind who they are stepping on and they will fight until they get what they want.


July 2, 1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law, preventing employment discrimination due to race, color, sex, religion or national origin. Title VII of the Act establishes the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to help prevent workplace discrimination.

June 21, 1964- Three civil rights workers, African American James Chaney, and two white Americans Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, were investigating the black church that burned down in Mississippi. They were arrested, incarcerated for several hours and then released to the Ku Klux Klan where they were murdered. Decades later the ringleader Edgar Ray Killen was convicted for their murders and received 60 years in prison.

1965: Cesar Chavez organized a farmer worker’s union and led a strike for better wages and better working conditions. This is important because better wages and working conditions were fought for the farmers.

 1965-1968: The end of the 1960s Civil Rights movement. In this time period, both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. would be assassinated. President Johnson would sign multiple acts, like the Voting Rights Act of 1965, preventing the use of literacy tests as voter requirements.

1965: A civil rights protest from Selma to Montgomery had over 600 demonstrators to protest the killing of a Black activist by a white police officer. The protest turned violent with several individuals getting hurt or killed.

Jan/ August of 1965- Chicago Freedom Movement: A movement that involved rallies, marches, and boycotts to protests segregated housing, educational deficiencies, employment, and health disparities based on racism.

 February 21, 1965: Malcom X is assassinated while he begins a speech to the 400 district of Harlem in New York. He was shot by three black Muslims who were later convicted in March 1966.

February 1, 1965- Assassination of Malcolm X: Malcolm X, a black religious leader, and civil rights activist was assassinated during a rally by members of the Nation of Islam. He was a popular and significant figure during the civil rights movement.


1966: The Black Panther Party was founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. The party’s objective was to monitor police brutality in hope of putting an end to the injustice. 

1967: Robert C. Weaver is appointed Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. It is important because he was the first black man to have a position in congress.

April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee. James Earl Ray is convicted of the murder in 1969. MLK Jr.’s death was a shock to the world but ultimately it brought many together to continue the good he was doing for the black community.

April 11, 1968: President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, also known as the Fair Housing Act, providing equal housing opportunity regardless of race, religion or national origin. This allowed for African Americans to have a much better opportunity to work and get affordable housing.

1968: Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, TN by a gunshot wound. He was assassinated by James Earl Ray.

April 4, 1968- MLK: The day Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated. He was an African American Minister, activist, and leader in the civil rights movement.

May 12, 1968- Poor People’s campaign: The goal was to gain more economic and human rights for poor Americans from all backgrounds. This led to the federal government enacted several programs to end hunger. 

1968: Congress passes the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which prohibited discrimination in housing. This was important because the legislation had failed in Congress twice before, and faced certain death again until Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination.


April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee. The suspect, James Earl Ray is convicted of the murder in 1969.

April 11, 1968: President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, also known as the Fair Housing Act, providing equal housing opportunity regardless of race, religion or national origin.

1989: Central Park 5 – Five innocent black men were falsely accused of the rape of a white woman, and were imprisoned for about 7 to 13 years. This case was so important because it showed again how racist white women take advantage of their privilege to harm black citizens.

April 29, 1992- In Los Angeles, California the first race riots erupts. This started after a jury let go four white police officers for the beating of African American Rodney King, which was videotaped.


2004: Civil rights activist Rosa Parks passes away due to natural causes.

November 4, 2008 Barack Obama Elected President

Barack Obama defeated Republican John McCain in the 2008 Presidential elections, making him the first African-American elected President. This shows huge strides in the progress of Civil Rights, amplified by his reelection in 2012.

2008: President Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States and the first African American to hold the position of the United States presidency.

2012: The murder of 17 year old African American high schooler, Trayvon Martin, was murdered by neighborhood watcher George Zimmerman by gunshot. This trial was so important because it started the Black Lives Matter movement.


2013: The murder of Trayvon Martin. Martin was a young African-American male who was shot while walking to a family friend’s home. The man who shot him, George Zimmerman, would be acquitted of the crime. This would spark the creation of the #BlackLiveMatter hashtag, as well as the campaign to end the police discrimination of black individuals.

2013: Black lives matter, a decentralized movement that advocates for the end of police brutality and racially motivated violence against African Americans was created. This movement is important because it amplifies black voices of the 2010s.

2013- BLM movement begins its very much needed resistance and awakening, spreading the truth. This movement was an awakening for many and still is, it is a very bright light shining over the dark truth that is racism today.

 2015: The arrest and death of Sandra Bland. Sandra was a 28 year old African American woman who was arrested in Waller County, Texas due to a traffic violation. Videos showed the police officer being very much aggressive and abusive towards Sandra. Three days after her arrest, Sandra was found dead in her jail cell, and the court ruled it as a “suicide.” This was such an important moment because it showed how black women are also mistreated and neglected by the police and society as a whole.

2020: The murder of George Floyd. George was an African American man who was murdered during his arrest by police officer Derek Chauvin. Derek held his knee on George’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, and as Floyd constantly pleaded out that he couldn’t breathe, Derek kept his knee on his neck. This was an important moment because it sparked worldwide protests in support of Black Lives Matter.

May 25, 2020- George Floyd was a 46-year-old African American man who was arrested for a counterfeit bill in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There Derek Chauvin was a white officer that knelt on George’s neck for almost eight minutes. He was handcuffed and begging for his life saying he could not breathe. That event started the 2020 riots for Black Lives Matter movement till this day.


2020- BLM protests and riot against police brutality during one of the most difficult times the country has seen in decades. This is one of the most important because it immediately affects me and those whom I love.

RIGHT NOW – Black Lives Matters Movement

Sparked by the murder of George Floyd, and fueled by years of hate, violence, racism, discrimination, and countless murders, we are witnessing a monumental movement for African American civil rights. Signs of the Confederacy are being removed from public spaces, companies are speaking out against racism, and people are beginning to be held accountable for their actions in ways we have never seen before.

 2020: George Floyd was murdered during his arrest by a police officer. People across the United States participated in protests against police brutality on black people to bring justice and an end to murdering innocent people.

2020: Racially charged events led to the Black Lives Matter movement throughout the United States and around the world to show that Black lives have always mattered.

2012-2020: Black Lives Matter Movement. This movement was created after numerous black lives were wrongfully taken at the hands of police officers and others and receiving little to no justice. Protests are currently happening throughout the world regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020: The Murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. A video is released of a police officer named Derek Chauvin kneeled on the neck of George Floyd for 9 minutes, which eventually results in Floyd’s death. Breonna Taylor was a young woman who was murdered in her sleep while police entered her home searching for a criminal who had already been detained. These events led to the reemergence of the Black Lives Matter movement, sparking protests across the country.


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