Know Your History!
Up to the early 20th century, most American knowledge of Black history was limited to the African American struggle through slavery and emancipation. The significance of Black history is recognition of the advancements and accomplishments of a group of people once defined by the Constitution as three-fifths of a person. As with all aspects of American history, Black history is an indispensable key to understanding the nation’s past, present, and future. With such an abhorrent beginning, the freedom and other achievements eventually earned by African Americans cannot be simply disregarded.
African-American Facts for the Week of: March 1th
March 1, 1780
Pennsylvania becomes the first state to abolish slavery.
In addition to the effects of the state law, many Pennsylvania masters freed their slaves.
March 2, 1980
USBA Welterweight Title
Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns wins the vacant USBA Welterweight title. This is one of five weight classes that he has won a boxing title making him the first Black to win boxing titles in five different weight classes.
March 2, 1867
Universities and Colleges Established
Howard University established. Also founded or chartered in 1867 were Talladege College, Morgan State University, Johnson C. Smith College, and St. Augustine’s College.
March 3, 1991
Rodney King is beaten by a group of white policemen
Rodney King is beaten by a group of white policemen in Los Angeles, California.
March 4, 1968
Poor People’s Campaign
Martin Luther King, Jr. announced plans for Poor People’s Campaign in Washington. He said he would lead a massive civil disobedience campaign in the capital to pressure the government to provide jobs and income for all Americans. He told a press conference that an army of poor white, poor Blacks and Hispanics would converge on Washington on April 20 and would demonstrate until their demands were met.
March 5, 1985
Mary McLeod Bethune Commemorative Stamp
The Mary McLeod Bethune commemorative stamp is issued by the U.S. Postal Service as the eighth stamp in its Black Heritage USA series.
March 6, 1857
The Dred Scott decision
On March 6, 1857, the Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court denied Blacks U.S. citizenship and denied the power of Congress to restrict slavery in any federal territory.
March 7, 1965
Civil Rights March in Alabama
Through the 25th, Alabama state troopers and sheriff’s deputies dispersed Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights march with tear gas and billy clubs, Three white Unitarian ministers, including Rev. James J. Reeb, attacked on streets of Selma, Alabama. Reeb, who was participating in civil rights demonstrations, died later in Birmingham hospital.
March 7, 1965
Marchers led by Martin Luther King
Thousands of marchers, led by Martin Luther King Jr. completed first leg of five-day Selma-to-Montgomery march. Marchers were protected by federalized Alabama National Guardsmen and U.S. Army troops. Selma-to-Montgomery march ended with rally of some fifty thousands at Alabama capitol. One of the marchers, a white civil rights worker named Viola Liuzzo, was shot to death on U.S. Highway after the rally by white terrorists. Three Klansmen were convicted of violating her civil rights and sentenced to ten years in prison.
To me, the omission of any group from history teachings results in a limited understanding of history’s relationship with the present and future. Know your history.
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