Black History Timeline
Around 1619 - Slavery in America began
July 2 1777 - Vermont became the first state to outlaw slavery
1793 - The original Fugitive Slave Act was passed
1803 - America expanded west of the Mississippi River, which also expanded slavery
1831 - Underground Railroad began
August 31 1831 - Nat Turner led the first major slave rebellion
1837 - The Institute for Colored Youth, the first higher education school for Black students
1850 - The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed
1857 - The Dred Scott case denied citizenship to Black Americans, free OR enslaved
April 12 1861 - The Civil War began
May 9 1865 - The Civil War ended
January 1 1863 - The Emancipation Proclamation passed, abolishing slavery
June 19 1865 - Though the Emancipation Proclamation passed in 1863, word didn't reach most people until this date. That's the reason Black people celebrate Juneteenth today.
January 31 1865 - The 13th Amendment passed, formally abolishing slavery
1866 - All people born in the United States, including former slaves, were granted citizenship
1870 - Black people were given the right to vote
May 18 1896 - Plessy v. Ferguson's verdict allowed segregated schools on the grounds "Separate But Equal," even though this was clearly not the case
February 12 1909 - The NAACP was founded
1920 - The Harlem Renaissance began
1954 - The Civil Rights Movement began
May 17 1954 - In response to the Brown v. Board of Education case, The Supreme Court deemed segregation in schools unconstitutional
December 5 1955 - The famous Montgomery Bus Boycott began
September 1957 - The Little Rock Nine occurred
November 14 1960 - Ruby Bridges was the first African American child to attend William Frantz Elementary School
August 28 1963 - The March on Washington was held, where Dr. King gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
1964 - The Civil Rights Act ended segregation in America
February 1970 - The first Black History Month was celebrated
1980 - The first Black Barbie came out
December 11 2009 - Disney came out with The Princess and the Frog, featuring Tiana, the first Black Disney princess
July 2013 - The Black Lives Matter Movement began
June 27 2015 - Bree Newsome climbed up a flag pole to remove a confederate flag from a South Carolina government building
Fugitive Slave Act - An act that encouraged citizens to capture escaped slaves to be sold back into slavery. No identity verification was required and the Black people taken in did not get a say in anything. Therefore, any Black person, free, or formally enslaved was at risk of being sold into slavery.
Underground Railroad - A figurative railroad, that was really a path for slaves to escape. On the way, there were white people against slavery that helped or housed runaway slaves while they were escaping to the North.
Dred Scott Case - Dred Scott was a slave whose slaveowner knowingly moved into a free state with him, but the Supreme Court did not grant him citizenship because they didn't want Black people to have the same rights as the rest of America.
Emancipation Proclamation - An order by former President Abraham Lincoln declaring that slaves be freed in 10 American states.
Juneteenth - A holiday many African Americans celebrate on June 19th for being the day everyone officially got news that slavery had ended, freeing slaves across the country.
Plessy v. Ferguson - The first case that challenged segregation in schools and brought new thoughts to the issue.
"Separate But Equal" - These were the grounds on which segregation in schools was continued. The court argued that it was not unconstitutional because it was "Separate But Equal," though this was not true by any means. Black schools were in far worse condition than white schools, and the government spent over twice the amount of money annually on white schools than it did on Black schools.
NAACP - The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and association for national change and action for Black America.
Harlem Renaissance - The tipping point for Black music, art, and poetry. This time period produced some of the greatest Black artists and was a moving era.
Brown v. Board of Education - The revolutionary Supreme Court case that unanimously ended segregation in schools
Little Rock Nine - The group of nine students that went to segregated, Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas to work toward officially and actually desegregating schools.
Civil Rights Act - The act that granted Black people the same rights as white people and essentially ended segregation in America.