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Black History - From Reconstruction to the Present (US)

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  • Curtis Matthew Graves
    From Texas State University (PDF file) : Curtis Graves (1938 -), Houston businessman and politician, was the first African American to serve in the State House since Texas Reconstruction. Graves serv...
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    From her official press biography: Chaz Hammel-Smith Ebert is the vice president of The Ebert Company. Previously, as a civil rights attorney, she was named Lawyer of the Year by the Constitutional...
  • Lumumba Abdul Shakur (1943 - 1985)
  • Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt (1947 - 2011)
    Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt (September 13, 1947 – June 2, 2011), also known as Geronimo ji-Jaga, was a former high ranking member of the Black Panther Party. He was targeted by the FBI program COINTE...

THE END OF RECONSTRUCTION (or "The War after the Civil War") AND SEGREGATION BY LAW, a virtual revolution. Before the Civil War ended and immediately after the War, the whites of the Confederate States began a vengeful campaign of murder against the New Afrikans/Blacks. See Reconstruction: The Second Civil War

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Six different kinds of White Groups

Redeemers

  • Ante-bellum patrols -- Blacks called them "Patter-rollers" -- secretly reorganized.
  • In each community for several months after the Civil War, and in many communities for months before the end of the War, there were informal Vigilance Committees, such as the Black Cavalry and Men of Justice in Alabama, and the Home Guards in many other places.
  • Anti-Confederate societies of the War, the Heroes of America, the Red Strings, and the Peace Societies, transformed themselves in certain localities into "regulatory bodies."
  • Other important organizations were the Constitutional Union Guards, the Pale Faces, the White Brotherhood, the Council of safety, the 76 Association, the Sons of 76, the Order of the White Rose, and the White Boys.
  • As the fight against Reconstruction became bolder, the orders threw off their disguises and appeared openly as "armed whites fighting for the control of society." The White League of Louisiana, the White Line of Mississippi, the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Shirts_(Southern_United_States) Red Shirts] of Mississippi, the White Man's party of Alabama, and the Rifle Clubs of South Carolina, were later manifestations of the general Ku Klux movement.
  • The two largest secret orders were the Ku Klux Klan, from which the movement took its name, and the Knights of the White Camellia.

So vicious was this year-long aggression that Congress in 1867 divided the Confederacy into five military districts. See 1867 Military Reconstruction Act.

Different kinds of Black Groups

  • Every state had a Black constabulary; in SC, NC, LA, and MS - armed Blacks. SC enrolled 96,000 Blacks as members of the Militia, 20,000 of them armed. In Louisiana, the governor had a standing army of Blacks called the Metropolitan Guard. In several States the Black militia was used as a constabulary and was sent to any part of the state to make arrests.

Timeline

1865, Autumn - KKK originated at Pulaski, TN. This was the First Klan: 1865–1870s.

1866-67 - Riots.

1866, May 1 - Memphis, Tennessee Riot

1866, July 30 - The New Orleans Riot occurred in New Orleans, Louisiana. Whites instigated the riot and targeted freedmen. However, this riot was different from those of its time because it centered primarily on disagreements regarding Reconstruction policies. Radical Republicans were unhappy with former Confederates gaining power and influence under Governor Wells.

1867 - Congress overrides Presidential vetoes to pass the first, second, and third Reconstruction Acts, ushering in the period known as "Radical Reconstruction," during which the governments of all Southern States, except Tennessee, are declared invalid and the states are broken up into military districts overseen by federal troops.

1867 - Congress gives blacks the right to vote in Washington, D.C.

1867 - Howard University, named after the head of the Freedmen's Bureau, is founded in Washington, D.C.

1867, May - A general organization of these KKK societies was perfected at a convention held in Nashville, TN, just as the Reconstruction Acts were being put into operation.

1868 - The fourteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified. It gives all native born and naturalized persons citizenship and gives blacks equal protection under the law.

1868 - Congress passes a fourth Reconstruction Act.

1868 - President Johnson is impeached by the House of Representatives. He avoids removal from office by a narrow vote in the Senate.

1868 - South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, followed by Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, and Louisiana, are readmitted to the Union and allowed representation in Congress.

1868 - In South Carolina the first and only American legislature made up of a black majority is elected. The ratio of black to white representatives is 87:40.

1868 - African-American representatives are expelled from the Georgia legislature. It takes them a year to gain re-admittance.

1868, Sept. 28 - The Opelousas Massacre in St. Landry Parish, La., has baffled historians over the years. From varying accounts, hundreds of Blacks were reportedly killed (200-300 African Americans), because of their desire to join a local political group that included racist White Democrats. The Seymour Knights violently drove potential Black voters away from the Democratic Party, prompting White Republican reporter Emerson Bentley to write that Blacks should remain loyal to the Republican Party in local paper The Progress.

A school teacher by day, Bentley was beaten by a group of Whites as a result of his article, which some in the town saw as an affront to the powers that be. Black Republicans, looking to defend and find Bentley, gathered to confront the Knights and other Democrats with both sides armed for war.

1869 - General Ulysses S. Grant is elected President. Although allied with the Radical Republicans in Congress, he proves a weak leader for Reconstruction.

1870 Census

1870 and 1871 - The Enforcement Acts were issued. They sought to prevent intimidation of voters and discrimination based on one’s skin color. The Acts also issued specific crimes committed by the Ku Klux Klan as federal offenses and those who committed them would be punished based on federal standards. Many white Southerners believed the Enforcement Acts were a violation of State’s rights.

Among the bloodiest conflicts were those in:

1873-74 - Colfax, Coushatta, and New Orleans, La.

1873, April 13 - The Colfax massacre, believed to be the most devastating occurrence of racial violence during Reconstruction, resulted in the death of around 150 freedmen at the hands of white supremacists. The events at Colfax resulted in only three men to convicted. The Colfax massacre or Colfax Riot (as the events are termed on the official state historic marker) occurred on Easter Sunday, April 13, 1873, in Colfax, Louisiana, the seat of Grant Parish.

1874-75 - Vicksburg and Clinton, Miss.

1875, Sept. 1 - Riot in Yazoo City, Miss.; 20 Blacks killed.

Sept. 4 - Riot in Clinton, Miss.; 80 Blacks and republicans killed.

For 20 years thereafter, in state after state, ex-Confederates and their progeny mounted this armed revolution and captured for themselves the government of every former Confederate state. The U.S. Army, a reluctant and inconsistent protector of New Afrikans in this latter period, was withdrawn in 1877.

1877 - Louisiana was the last Southern white government to return to power.

1878 -

The Louisiana-based movement of Henry Adams--Exodusters--appealed fruitlessly to the U.S. for "land anywhere."

About 100 lynchings occurred every year in the 1880's and 1890's.

1880 Census

1883 - The Supreme Court declared the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional, Southern states began to enact laws to segregate races.

1884, Aug. 9 - Death of Robert Brown Elliot.

  • 1884, Nov. 15 - "Scramble for Afrika" organized at an international conference in Berlin.

1886 - Carrollton, Miss. massacre of over twenty Blacks.

1887, Aug. 17 - Birth of Marcus Garvey.

1889 - The prominent New Afrikan journalist John E. Bruce and his prophecy about New Afrikan's organized resistance and "resort to force under wise and discreet leaders." (Schleifer, in Williams, p. 128).

1889, Apr. 15 - Birth of Asa Philip Randolph, trade union and civil rights leader, in Crescent City, Fla.

Edward McCabe sought to make Oklahoma a New Afrikan state, with himself as governor.

1892 - There were 161 lynchings.

1895, Feb. 20 - Frederick Douglass died.

1895, Mar. 11 - White mob attacks Black workers in New Orleans, LA.

1895 - Booker T. Washington Delivered Controversial ‘Atlanta Compromise’ Speech.

1898 - The Spanish-American War.

1898, Apr. 9 - Birth of Paul Robeson.

1900 - Anti-Black riot in New York

1900, July 23-27 - Robert Charles and the New Orleans Race Riot which killed several Blacks, and on July 25th, 11 others were hospitalized and over 50 were injured; and over 30 homes and schools burned. By week’s end, Charles had shot a total of 27 whites, killing seven, including four police officers. The rioting ended when New Orleans Mayor Paul Capdeville deputized 1,500 special police and asked for assistance from the state militia.

1904 - Anti-Black riot in Springfield, Ohio.

1905, July 11 - Niagara Movement organized by W.E.B. DuBois and William Monroe Trotter.

1906 - Anti-Black riot in Greensburg, Ind.

1906, Aug. 13 - Black soldiers raid Brownsville, Tex., in retaliation for insults.

1908 - Anti-Black riot in Springfield, Ill. A three-day riot, initiated by a white women's claim of violation by a Black man. By the time National Guardsmen reached the scene, six persons were dead--four whites and two Blacks; property damage was extensive. Many New Afrikans left Springfield, hoping to find better conditions elsewhere, especially in Chicago.

1908, July 2 - Thurgood Marshall born.

1909, Sept. 20 - Birth of Kwame Nkrumah.

1913 - The Griffin brothers - Thomas and Meeks Griffin, framed by the actual perpetrator, were indicted in 1913 for the murder of a wealthy Confederate veteran and given two days to prepare their case, which their family sold 130 acres of land to finance. Requests for a delay were denied, and the brothers were executed two years later. The brothers' exhoneration has been repeatedly petitioned but without success. (African American Lives 2 Helps Tom Joyner Exhonerate Uncle).

1913, Mar. 10 - Death of Harriet Tubman, Auburn, NY.

WORLD WAR I: 1914-18: More than two million New Afrikans registered under the Selective Service Act, and some 360,000 were called into service. (1968 Riot Commission, p. 218).

1915 - The Birth of a Nation film.

1915–1944 - The Second Klan.

1916 ? - African Blood Brotherhood organized.

1917 - Major riots by whites against Blacks took place in Chester, Penn., and Philadelphia.

Between July 1917 and March 1921, 58 Black houses in Chicago were bombed, and recreational areas were sites of racial conflict. (1968 Riot Commission, p. 219).

1917, July 1 - Riot in East St. Louis, Ill., kills approximately 200 Blacks (other reports say 39), and nine whites, as a result of fear by white working men that Black advances in economic, political and social status were threatening their own security and status. Hundreds injured, and more than 300 buildings destroyed.

1917, Aug. 23 - Whites and Black soldiers of the 24th Infantry Regiment battle in Houston, Tex.; 2 Blacks and 17 whites killed; 13 Blacks later hanged.

POSTWAR VIOLENCE

1918 - The Ku Klux Klan committed 64 lynchings in southern states.

1918 - Josephine Baker dropped out of school at the age of 12 and lived as a street child in the slums of St. Louis, sleeping in cardboard shelters and scavenging for food in garbage cans.

1919 - The Ku Klux Klan committed 83 lynchings in southern states.

  • 1919, Feb. 19 - First Pan-Afrikan Congress meets in Paris, France.

1919, June to the end of the year - About 25 Major riots by whites against Blacks took place, including Washington, DC, Omaha, Neb., Charleston, Elaine, Ark., and Knoxville, Tenn.

July - Longview, Tex., witnessed the nightmare of a race riot.

July 27 (started Sunday and ended on August 3)- "Red Summer" riot in Chicago flared from the increase in Black population, which had more than doubled in 10 years. Jobs were plentiful, but housing was not. Black neighborhoods expanded into white sections of the city, and trouble developed. It left 15 whites and 23 Blacks dead, at least 537 injured, 178 were white and 342 were black, there is no record of the racial identity of the remaining 17. It is considered the worst of the approximately 25 riots during the Red Summer of 1919, so named because of the violence and fatalities across the nation. The combination of prolonged arson, looting and murder was the worst race rioting in the history of Illinois. (see 1968 Riot Commission, p. 219; Franklin and Moss, p. 315; Chicago Race Riot of 1919 ).

July 27, 1919 THE 1920'S AND THE NEW MILITANCY

1921, June 1 - A major riot by whites against a Black area in Tulsa, Okla., called the Black Wall Street, authorities said 21 whites and 60 Blacks dead, some even claimed only 36 were killed. Newspapers of the time mentioned that at almost 100 dead. Witnesses said about 300 died; and over 4,000 were left homeless, after 35 blocks burnt by whites.

1925, May 19 - El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X) born.

  • 1925, July 2 - Patrice Lumumba born.

SEPARATISM

Marcus Mosiah Garvey, founder in 1914 of the UNIA, aimed to liberate both Afrikans and New Afrikans from their oppressors.

THE DEPRESSION AND THE NEW DEAL

Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam (NOI) began appeals in the 1930's for a separate territory, initially to be provisioned by the U.S. for 30 years.

1931, Apr. 6 - First of Scottsboro Trials begin, Scottsboro, Ala.

WORLD WAR II

1939-45 - "The treatment accorded the Negro during the Second World War marks, for me, a turning point in the Negro's relation to America. To put it briefly, and somewhat too simply, a certain hope died, a certain respect for white Americans faded." (Baldwin, p. 68).

  • 1940, June 10 - Death of Marcus Garvey, London, England.

1941, Sept. 23 - George Jackson born.

1941 - A. Philip Randolph emerged as one of the most visible spokesmen for African-American civil rights. He, Bayard Rustin, and A. J. Muste proposed a march on Washington to protest racial discrimination in war industries and to propose the desegregation of the American Armed forces. The march was cancelled after President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802, or the Fair Employment Act. Some militants felt betrayed because Roosevelt's order applied only to banning discrimination within war industries and not the armed forces. But, the Fair Employment Act is generally perceived as a success for African-American labor rights.

1942 - An estimated 18,000 blacks gathered at Madison Square Garden to hear A. Philip Randolph kick off a campaign against discrimination in the military, in war industries, in government agencies, and in labor unions.

1943 - Racial disorders had broken out sporadically in Mobile, Los Angeles, Beaumont, Tex., and elsewhere. In Harlem, NY, a riot erupted. Six persons died, over 500 were injured, more than 100 were jailed. (1968 Riot Commission, p. 224).

1943, June 20 (Sunday) - The Detroit Riot. By the time federal troops arrived to halt the racial conflict, 25 Blacks and 9 whites were dead, property damage exceeded $2 million, and a legacy of fear and hate became part of the city. (1968 Riot Commission, p. 224).

  • 1945, Apr. - Two unarmed U.S. Black soldiers killed by military police at French army camp for allegedly talking to French women employed there.

THE POSTWAR PERIOD

Since 1946 - The Third Klan.

1947, Apr. 9 - CORE sends first group of Freedom Riders through South.

1947, Sept. 13 - Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt born.

  • 1949, Oct. 1 - Victory of Chinese Revolution.

1950-53 - Korean Conflict.

1950, Apr. 3 - Death of Carter G. Woodson, historian, in Washington, DC.

"...white Americans congratulate themselves on the 1954 Supreme Court decision outlawing segregation in the schools; they suppose, in spite of the mountain of evidence that has since accumulated to the contrary, that this was proof of a change of heart--or, as they like to say, progress. Perhaps. It all depends on how one reads the word "progress." Most Negroes I know do not believe that this immense concession would ever have been made if it had not been for the competition of the Cold War, and the fact that Africa was clearly liberating herself and therefore had, for political reasons, to be wooed by the descendants of her former masters." (Baldwin, pp. 100-101).

1955, Aug. 28 - Emmett Till, 14, kidnapped and lynched in Money, Miss.

1955, Dec. 5 - Beginning of Montgomery, Ala., Bus Boycott.

1955 -

THE PERSISTENCE OF DISCRIMINATION AND THE REVOLUTION OF RISING EXPECTATIONS

1957-1961 - Robert F. Williams, president of the Monroe, Union County, NC, NAACP chapter (author of "Negroes with Guns").

1957, Sept. 28 - ‘Little Rock Nine”’ Enter High School That Forcibly Banned Them.

1958, Sept. 28 - Dr. King Jr. Suffers Assassination Attempt.

1959 -

STUDENT INVOLVEMENT

1960, Feb. 1 - Four NC A&T College students launch Student Movement in Greensboro. Sit-ins started in a new way.

Apr. 15 - Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) organized on Shaw University campus.

  • 1961, Jan. 16 - Patrice Lumumba assassinated.

THE BLACK MUSLIMS

1961, July 31 - Hon. Elijah Muhammad calls for the creation of a separate Black state in NY speech.

"FREEDOM NOW!"

1963 - Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) was started.

May 27 - Philadelphia Black workers, led by RAM, attacked by whites on school construction site while demanding jobs for Black construction workers.

Aug. - The March on Washington.

THE FAILURE OF DIRECT ACTION/NEW DIRECTIONS

By 1964 and 1965, more militant individuals especially in SNCC, were toying with the idea that revolutionary violence might be necessary.

1964 - Deacons for Defense and Justice, a semi-secret Black organization armed for self-defense, organized in Louisiana to protect Blacks and CORE demonstrators of both races from white attackers.

May 1 - Afro-American Student Movement (ASM) organized at Fisk; is called the First National Afro-American Student Conference at Nashville.

34 COFO Freedom Schools in Miss. (inc. Ruleville).

1965 - Deacons for Defense and Justice spread from Louisiana into Mississippi and Alabama, and planned to expand throughout the South.

ORGANIZATIONAL RIVALRIES

Other groups: Black Guards, and militant individuals with SNCC ("Snick").

THE ROLE OF WHITES

1966, Jan. 4 - SNCC worker Sammy Younge, Jr., murdered in Tuskegee, Ala.

"BLACK POWER"

1966, Oct. - Black Panther Party for Self-Defense started in Oakland, California.

Late 1960's to early 1970's - BPP were in shoot-outs with police with empty weapons at times, or not enough ammunition.

1967 - The so-called RAM Plot.

1967, July 23 - Detroit Rebellion; 43 Afrikans murdered by police.

1967, Aug. 25 - FBI circulates memo detailing plans to "disrupt" Black Liberation Movement groups. (BPP was not on list).

1968, Mar. 4 - FBI memo issued to "prevent the coalition of militant Black nationalist groups."

1968, Mar. 31 - The Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika (RNA) was established in Detroit, Mich.

Apr. 4 - Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Apr. 6 - Lil' Bobby Hutton murdered.

July 23 - Fred Ahmed Evans arrested for guerrilla ambush and killing of police, Cleveland, Ohio.

1969, Jan. - BPP allied with BLA; and became part of BLA.

1969, Jan. 24 - Chicago police and FBI conspire to prevent Fred Hampton of BPP from appearing on t.v. talk show.

1969, Apr. 2 - NY "21" BPP members arrested on conspiracy charges.

Apr. 26 - BPP office in Des Moines, Iowa, bombed.

May 26 - Fred Hampton arrested and charged with stealing and distributing ice cream.

June 4 - Detroit BPP office raided.

June 7 - Chicago BPP office raided.

June 15 - Sacramento and San Diego BPP offices raided.

MODERN PHASE OF BLACK LIBERATION ARMY:

1970, Jan. - BPP allied with BLA; and became part of BLA.

1970, Aug. - Russell Maroon Shoats joined BLA ("New Afrikan Liberation Army").

1970 ? - Some RAM members fled the country.

1971, Mar. 5 - BPP sponsors Day of Solidarity dedicated to "Freedom for all Political Prisoners."

Mar. 28 - Republic of New Afrika Capitol consecrated, Hinds County, Miss.

Aug. 18 - Republic of New Afrika Capitol attaked by FBI and Jackson, Miss., police.

Aug. 19 - FBI tries to assassinated Imari Obadele,RNA president.

Aug. 27 - Death of Kwame Nkrumah, Conakry, Guinea.

1972, Jan. - Russell Maroon Shoats captured.

1973, Jan. 7 - Mark Essex, 23, is killed atop New Orleans hotel after killing six and wounding fifteen.

1973, Jan. 19 - One police killed and two wounded as Black freedom fighters seize a Brooklyn sporting goods store.

  • Jan. 20 - Amilcar Cabral assassinated by Portuguese agents.

May 2 - Zayd Malik Shakur (fsn James Coston) killed by state police on NJ Turnpike; Assata Shakur (fsn Joanne Chesimard) wounded and Sundiata Acoli (fsn Clark Squire) arrested.

1974, Apr. 17 - BLA "New Haven Three," Hodari Diallo (Harold Simmons), Ashanti (Michael Alston), and Gunnie (James Haskins) invade the Tombs in NY to liberate POWs.

1975, June 5 - POW escapes from prison in Jackson, Mich., by helicopter.

1976, Jan. 16 - Assata Shakur acquitted by NY Federal Grand Jury of a 1971 bank robbery charge.

1977, Jan. 17 - Assata Shakur begins 4th trial in New Brunswick, NJ, on frame-up charges of murdering a NJ state trooper and her comrade, Zayd Malik Shakur.

1977, Mar. 25 - All-white jury in New Brunswick, NJ, returns guilty verdict against Assata Shakur; she is immediately sentenced to life in prison.

Apr. 7 - Assata Shakur moved from Clinton's Women's Prison to the all-male Yardsville Prison in NJ.

Apr. 25 - Assata Shakur given additional, consecutive 33-year sentence on assault, weapons charges.

Sept. - Maroon escaped from Huntingdon, PA. 2 recaptured and a third killed. Maroon at large for one month.

1978 -

1979, Nov. 2 - Comrade-Sister Assata Shakur was liberated from Clinton Women' Prison, by BLA and NAAI members, and continues to carry on the struggle from Cuba.

1980, Mar. - Maroon and another POW escaped with help of female New Afrikan activist.

1981, Oct. 20th - Brinks armored car robbery/expropriation.

1982 -

1983 -

1984 -

1985 -

1986 -

1990 -

1993 -

1996 -

1998 - National Territory, plus Florida.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Afoh, Kwame; Lumumba, Chokwe; Obadele, Imari; and Obafemi, Ahmed. A Brief History of Black Struggle In America. The Malcolm Generation, Inc., Baton Rouge, LA, c. 1997.

Baldwin, James. The Fire Next Time. The Dial Press, New York, c. 1963.

Fleming, Walter Lynwood. The Sequel To Appomattox: A Chronicle of the Reunion of the States. United States Publishers, New York, c. 1919, pp. 236-264.

Franklin, John Hope, and Moss, Alfred A., Jr. From Slavery To Freedom, 6th edition. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, c. 1988.

New Afrikan Prison Organization 1978 Calendar.

New Afrikan Prison Organization 1979 Calendar.

Notes from a New Afrikan P.O.W. Journal, Books One thru Seven (Combined), Spear and Sheild Publications, Chicago, IL, c. 1986.

Painter, Nell Irvin. The Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Reconstruction. c. 1992.

U.S. Riot Commission Report. Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders. Bantam Books, New York, c. 1968.

Warnke, James R. Ghost Towns Of Florida. c. 1971.

Williams, Robert F. Negroes with Guns. Marzani & Munsell, Inc., New York, c. 1962.

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