Black History Timeline


1619​
​The first Africans arrive in Jamestown, Virginia to be enslaved and sold for slave labor.

1730
​On the way to America, 96 Africans aboard the Little George slave ship revolted and successfully piloted the ship back to Africa.

1761
​Jupiter Hammon, the first African American to have his literature published in the U.S., publishes a poem titled, "An Evening Thought. Salvation by Christ with Penitential Cries."

1831
​Nat Turner leads slave revolt in Southampton County, Virginia.

William Lloyd Garrison begins to publish The Liberator, a weekly paper that advocated for the abolition of slavery.

1838
Frederick Douglass escapes from slavery by posing as a free black seaman on his way to the north.

1846
Frederick Douglass creates the abolitionist newspaper, The North Star.
1849
Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery and guides hundreds of enslaved people to freedom before and during the Civil War.

1850
The Underground Railroad is started by William Still.
1852
Uncle Tom's Cabin is published by Harriet Beecher Stowe. This was the first American novel to depict slavery as bad, and African Americans as heroes.
1857
Dred Scott Case: Dred Scott traveled to a free state with his owner and argued he should be free. The supreme court ordered that enslaved people could not be citizens and therefore did not have the right to bring the case to a court.
1861
​The Civil War begins.

1863
The Emancipation Proclamation is signed by Abraham Lincoln, an order that freed enslaved people and made the end of slavery the goal of the Civil War.
1865
The Civil War comes to an end.

The 13th Amendment is appended to the Constitution.​

1866
The Civil Rights Act was created to protect freemen and grand full citizenship to those born on U.S. soil.

1867
Howard University is founded by Union General, Oliver O. Howard. It is the 1st University for African-Americans.
1868
The 14th Amendment is appended to the Constitution. It grants citizenship to those formerly enslaved.

1870
The 15th Amendment is appended to the Constitution. It prohibits states from denying the right to vote because of race.

Hiram Rhodes Revels is the first African-American Senator.
1872
Frederick Douglass is the first African-American to receive a nomination for Vice President of the United States.
1875
The Mississippi Plan is put into effect. It uses fraud violence, intimidation, and literacy tests to keep African-Americans in Mississippi from voting.
1881
The Tuskegee Institute is a teacher's training school founded by formerly enslaved Lewis Adams and George W. Campbell under the leadership of Booker T. Washington.​

1895
Booker T. Washington gives speech titled "The Atlanta Compromise" encouraging African-Americans to have patience and to seek opportunities in the South as well as the North.
1896
The Supreme Court decides in the Plessy vs. Ferguson case that "separate but equal" satisfies the 14th Amendment, which gives legal sanction to "Jim Crow" segregation laws.
1906
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated is founded, and becomes the first African-American Fraternity to be created.
1908
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated is founded, and becomes the first African-American Sorority to be created.

1909
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded.
1911
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated is founded and becomes the second African-American Fraternity to be created.

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated is founded and becomes the third African-American Fraternity to be created.
1913
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated is founded and becomes the second African-American Sorority to be created.
1914
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated is founded and becomes the fourth African-American Fraternity to be created.
1919
The start of the Harlem Renaissance, a 15 year period when famous African-American artists, writers, and musicians emerged and resided in Harlem, NY.
1920
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated is founded and becomes the third African-American Sorority to be created.

The Negro National Baseball League is established and lead by Andrew "Rube" Foster. It consisted of eight teams.​

1921
Sadie Tanner Mossell, Eva B. Dykes, and Georgiana R. Simpson become the first African-American women to earn Ph. D. degrees.​

Bessie Coleman, the first black female pilot, also becomes the first woman to receive an international pilot's license after graduating from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale in France.

1922
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated is founded and becomes the fourth African-American Sorority to be created.

1923
George Washington Carver receives the NAACP Spingarn Medal.
1932
The Tuskegee Experiment: 399 African-Americans infected with ​Syphilis, near Tuskegee, Alabama, are denied treatment in order to study the effects of the disease. Lasted for 40 years.

1936
The National Negro Congress holds their first meeting in Chicago. Nearly 600 black organizations are represented.
1938
The U.S. Supreme Court in Missouri rules that a state that provides in-state education for white people must provide comparable in-state education for black people​.

1939
Hattie McDaniel becomes the first African-American actor to win an Academy Award.
1940
Benjamin O. Davis Sr. becomes the first African-American general in the U.S. Army.​