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. While slavery in America hosts the background of Black history, the African American impact on history reaches beyond the country’s early history, as African Americans have made significant contributions.
African-American Facts for Week of: April 3, 2016
April 3, 1944
April 3, 1944. The US Supreme Court, in an 8-1 ruling declared that Blacks could not be barred from voting in the Texas Democratic primaries. The high court repudiated the contention that political parties are private associations and held that discrimination against Blacks violated the 15th Amendment.
April 3, 1963
Martin Luther King Jr. opened anti-segregation campaign in Birmingham. More than two thousand demonstrators, including King, were arrested before the campaign ended.
April 3, 1968
1968 – I’ve Been To The Mountaintop
In 1968, on this date, Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his final address at Bishop Charles J. Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee.
April 4, 1968
Martin Luther King Jr’s Death
Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated by a white sniper in Memphis, Tennessee. Assassination precipitated a national crisis and rioting in more than one hundred cities. Forty-six persons were killed in major rebellions in Washington, Chicago and other cities. Twenty thousand federal troops and thirty-four thousand National Guardsmen were mobilized to quell disturbances. Memorial marches and rallies were held throughout the country. Many public school systems closed and the opening of the baseball season was postponed. President Lyndon B. Johnson declared Sunday, April 6, a national day of mourning and ordered all U.S. flags on government buildings in all U.S. territories and possession to fly at half-mast.
April 5, 1856
Booker Taliaferro Washington (Booker T. Washington) was born on this day.
Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) was an American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Washington was the dominant leader in the African-American community.
Washington was from the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants. They were newly oppressed in the South by disenfranchisement and the Jim Crow discriminatory laws enacted in the post-Reconstruction Southern states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
His base was the Tuskegee Institute, a historically black college in Alabama. As lynchings in the South reached a peak in 1895, Washington gave a speech, known as the “Atlanta compromise,” which brought him national fame. He called for black progress through education and entrepreneurship, rather than trying to challenge directly the Jim Crow segregation and the disenfranchisement of black voters in the South.
April 6, 1846
Dred Scott Case
Dred Scott and his wife Harriet filed suit against Irene Emerson for their freedom. The Dred Scott case was first brought to trial in 1847 in the first floor, west wing courtroom of St. Louis’ Courthouse. A black slave from Missouri who claimed his freedom on the basis of seven years of residence in a free state and a free territory.
April 7, 1940
The first U.S. stamp ever to honor an African American is issued
The first U.S. stamp ever to honor an African American is issued bearing the likeness of Booker T. Washington.
April 7, 1915
Billie Holiday Born
Eleanora Fagan (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959), professionally known as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz musician and singer-songwriter with a career spanning nearly thirty years. Nicknamed “Lady Day” by her friend and music partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz music and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. Holiday was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills, which made up for her limited range and lack of formal music education.
April 8, 1960
The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was organized on this date.