also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, was a Black African American
Muslim minister, public speaker, and human rights activist.
Black African Americans, a man who indicted White America in the
harshest terms for its crimes against Black Americans.
Black African Americans in history. He is credited with raising the self-
esteem of Black Americans and reconnecting them with their African
heritage. He is largely responsible for the spread of Islam in the Black
community in the United States.
Northern and Western United States, felt that Malcolm X articulated their
One biographer says that by giving expression to their frustration, Malcolm X "made clear the price that white
America would have to pay if it did not accede to Black America's legitimate demands."
his teachings were part of the foundation on which they built their
movements. The Black Power movement, the Black Arts Movement, and
the widespread adoption of the slogan "Black is beautiful" can all trace
their roots to Malcolm X.
in Malcolm X among young people fueled, in part, by his use as an icon by
hip hop groups such as Public Enemy. Images of Malcolm X could be found
on T-shirts and jackets. Pictures of him were on display in hundreds of
thousands of homes, offices, and schools. This wave peaked in 1992 with
the release of Malcolm X, a much-anticipated film adaptation of The
Autobiography of Malcolm X.
zAfrican American civil rights activist whom the U.S. Congress later called the
"Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement."
Cleveland Avenue bus at around 6 PM, Thursday, December 1, 1955, in
for Blacks in the "colored" section - which was near the middle of the bus and
directly behind the ten seats reserved for white passengers. Initially, she had not
noticed that the bus driver was the same man, James F. Blake, who had left her
in the rain in 1943.
In 1900, Montgomery had passed a city ordinance for segregating passengers by race. Conductors were given
the power to assign seats to accomplish that purpose; however, no passengers would be required to move or
give up their seat and stand if the bus was crowded and no other seats were available. Over time and by custom,
however, Montgomery bus drivers had adopted the practice of requiring black riders to move whenever there
were no white only seats left.
So, following standard practice, bus driver Blake noted that the front of the bus was filled with white passengers
and there were two or three men standing, and thus moved the "colored" section sign behind Parks and
demanded that four Black people give up their seats in the middle section so that the white passengers could
driver stepped back toward us…when he waved his hand and ordered us up
and out of our seats, I felt a determination cover my body like a quilt on a
at the beginning, but he says, 'Let me have these seats.' And the other three
people moved, but I didn't."
toward the window seat; she did not standup and move to the newly
repositioned colored section.
Parks responded, "I don't think I should have to stand up."
Blake called the police to arrest Parks. When recalling the incident for Eyes on the Prize, a 1987 public
television series on the Civil Rights Movement, Parks said, "When he saw me still sitting, he asked if I was
going to stand up, and I said, 'No, I'm not.' And he said, 'Well, if you don't stand up, I'm going to have to call the
police and have you arrested.' I said, 'You may do that.'"
several months after her arrest, when asked why she had decided
not to vacate her bus seat, Parks said, "I would have to know for once
and for all what rights I had as a human being and a citizen."
People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but
that isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually
was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people
have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only
tired I was, was tired of giving in.
When Parks refused to give up her seat, a police officer arrested her. As the officer took her away, she recalled
that she asked, "Why do you push us around?"
The officer's response as she remembered it was, "I don't know, but the law's the law, and you're under arrest."
She later said, "I only knew that, as I was being arrested, that it was the very last time that I would ever ride in
humiliation of this kind."
law of the Montgomery City code, although she technically had not taken
up a white-only seat—she had been in a colored section. E.D. Nixon and
Clifford Durr bailed Parks out of jail the evening of December 2.
Ann Robinson about Parks' case. Robinson, a member of the Women's
Political Council (WPC), stayed up all night mimeographing over 35,000
handbills announcing a bus boycott. The Women's Political Council was the
first group to officially endorse the boycott.
were announced at Black churches in the area, and a front-page article in
The Montgomery Advertiser helped spread the word. At a church rally
that night, those attending agreed unanimously to continue the boycott
hired, and until seating in the middle of the bus was handled on a first-come basis.
and violating a local ordinance. The trial lasted 30 minutes. Parks
was found guilty and fined $10, plus $4 in court costs. Parks
appealed her conviction and formally challenged the legality of racial
I did not want to be mistreated. I did not want to be deprived of a seat
that I had paid for. It was just time... there was opportunity for me to
take a stand to express the way I felt about being treated in that
manner. I had not planned to be arrested. I had plenty to do without
having to end up in jail. But when I had to face that decision, I didn't
hesitate to do so because I felt that we had endured that too long. The
more we gave in, the more we complied with that kind of treatment, the
more oppressive it became."
|Black History Month celebrates the history and contributions of African-Americans. The origin of this
observance goes back to 1915, when historian Carter G. Woodson proposed Black History Week, although it
did not begin until 1926. Woodson chose the second week in February to honor the birthdays of Abraham
Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two important Americans who affected the lives of Blacks. Later, in 1976, this
celebration turned into Black History Month.
month, but we probably would have far less of a cultural identity or knowledge of
where we came from. Carter Woodson, referred to as the "Father of Black
History," was much more than just the founder of Black History Month. He was
a scholar with a doctorate from Harvard and an author of several books
documenting the history, culture, and contributions of African-Americans to this
Rights Revolution. She is best known for her protest of segregation laws through
her choice to not give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955. This incident
inspired the African-American community, who then began a 381-day boycott of
public transportation in Montgomery. Later, on November 13, 1956, the
achievements include the founding of the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development; a
publication of her memoir, Quiet Strength; and receiving the Congressional Gold Medal.
Harlem Renaissance in the 1920's & 1930's. He spoke out against segregation and other issues. As the
History Channel describes him, "By the time of his death, Hughes was widely recognized as the most
representative of African-American writers and perhaps the most original of Black poets. What set him apart
was the deliberate saturation of his work in the primary expressive forms of black mass culture as well as in
the typical life experiences of the mass of African Americans, whom he viewed with near-total love and
the importance of education and personal achievement. Not only did he have numerous achievements in
his life, but he would later instill those same values in others.
rallying against unequal treatment on New York City's public transportation systems.
receiving her law degree at Boston University, using her kitchen as her law office to help poor people
with their legal troubles. In 1962 and 1964, she unsuccessfully ran for the Texas House of
Representatives before winning a seat in the Texas Senate in 1966. She was the first African-American
woman and first African-American since 1883 to be elected to that position.
parents instilled in her the values that she was capable of fulfilling her dreams. In an interview with
Ebony, she stated, “Our parents really did have us convinced that [even though I] couldn't have a
hamburger at Woolworth's, [I] could be president of the United States.”
women were allowed to be pilots.
hand in hand. Gregory often used his comedy to make statements about race relations in America:
"Segregation is not all bad. Have you ever heard of a collision where the people in the back of the bus got
|Key Lessons in History and Character
them on and to help them know that they, too, have the potential to
achieve their dreams and accomplish worthwhile and important
of Black men and women throughout history in every field of
endeavor. Knowing what others have done inspires confidence in
young people to know that they can do worthwhile things too.
lawyers, economists and journalists provides encouragement and
incentive to Black young people to strive for excellence themselves.
Without such knowledge and encouragement, young people can end
up wasting precious time and energy while feeling victimized.
|Why Black History Month Remains Important Today
|Black history is not merely Black history, it is American history. By better understanding the positive
contributions of another ethnic group, all Americans benefit. When we understand one another better, we are
that much closer to having positive relationships with one another.
about Blacks and their history in the United States. These negative ideas and
impressions create barriers to good relationships and to the true potential that
all Americans have for working together toward our common goals for freedom,
peace and achievement.
contributions to American ideals that Blacks have made throughout history. And
that helps to dispel the negative ideas and stereotypes that invariably spring up
when the truth is not given the light of day.
all Americans that no matter how tough the struggle, no matter what the odds,
when we don’t give up, when we stand together firmly for the right and the truth,
great things can happen. And there’s nothing more truly American than that. It
is our collective legacy and heritage.
American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the Black
African American civil rights movement. His main legacy was to
secure progress on civil rights in the United States, and he has
become a human rights icon: King is recognized as a martyr by two
Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its
first president. King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington,
where King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. There, he
raised public consciousness of the civil rights movement and
In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial
segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means. By the time of his
death in 1968, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and opposing the Vietnam War, both from a
religious perspective. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously
awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004; Martin Luther
King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. national holiday in 1986.
and vision of Martin Luther King Jr., a major leader of the civil rights movement
beginning in the mid 1950s. Americans celebrate his birthday as a national
holiday each January, recalling the struggle to end racism and bigotry in America.
nonviolent means to achieve civil right for Blacks and equality for all.
in 1951 and earned a doctor of philosophy degree from Boston University in
1955. He came from a long line of Baptist ministers. His father was pastor of
Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, and in 1960, King moved to the city to
pastor his father’s congregation. King was chosen as the first president of the
Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957.
led to a confrontation with Public Safety Commissioner "Bull" Connor and
municipal authorities. While in jail, King was criticized by a group of white
clergymen who blamed him for inciting the violence and who voiced concerns
about his civil rights strategy. It was then that he penned his "Letter From a
strong in the faith. I also hope that circumstances will soon make it
possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationist or a civil
rights leader but as a fellow clergyman and a Christian brother. Let us
all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away
and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-
drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the
radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation
with all their scintillating beauty."
King spoke about what people should remember him for if they are around for his funeral. He said rather than
his awards and where he went to school, people should talk about how he fought peacefully for justice:
“I'd like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to give his life serving others. I'd like for
somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to love somebody. I want you to say that day that I tried
to be right on the war question. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. I want you to
be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked. I want you to say on that day that I
did try in my life to visit those who were in prison. And I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.
Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major. Say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum
major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.”
rights rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.
C. Here he delivered his rallying "I Have a Dream" speech."
awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. King was only 35 years old
when he accepted the prize in December of that year on behalf of all
who participated in the Civil Rights Movement, making him the
youngest recipient of the award in history.
less than four years later. On April 4, 1968, while standing on the
balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, he was shot
practice that nonviolence must remain the approach of the civil rights movement, he died a martyr’s death from
an assassin’s bullet.
|QUESTION: What city did Jazz emerge from?
B. New Orleans
Answer: B. Jazz evolved in New Orleans, which is often considered the most musical city in the U.S. because of its
French, Spanish, West Indian, African, and English influences. However, by the early 1920s Chicago had emerged
as the jazz capital, while Memphis was a major center for blues music.
QUESTION: The most famous jazz nightclub in Harlem was called:
A. The Cotton Club
B. El Morocco
C. Studio 54
Answer: A. Open from 1923 to 1940, the Cotton Club was the leading nightclub in Harlem, featuring elaborate
floor shows and innovative music. Blacks were only allowed to perform. The audience was white. Many
performances were broadcast live over the radio. Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Ethel Waters, and Billie Holiday
performed there. The El Morocco nightclub was located in mid-Manhattan, while the disco Studio 54 was not
established until 1977.
QUESTION: Who was the first African-American to play Major League Baseball?
A. Elston Howard
B. Satchell Paige
C. Jackie Robinson
Answer: C. Jackie Robinson. Jackie became the Dodgers' second baseman in 1948. As the season went on,
Jackie's play on the field helped turn the boos into cheers. He batted .297, led the National League in stolen bases
(29), and was named Rookie of the Year. In 10 major league seasons, Jackie helped the Dodgers win six N.L.
pennants and the 1955 World Series. (source: Sports Illustrated Kids)
QUESTION: Who was the first track-and-field athlete to win four gold medals at one Olympics?
A. Carl Lewis
B. Jesse Owens
C. Maurice Greene
Answer: B. Jesse Owens. The 1936 Olympics were held in Berlin, Germany, in front of the hateful eyes of dictator
Adolph Hitler. For Hitler, the Berlin Olympics was a stage to prove to the world that his racist views were correct.
Jesse Owens proved him wrong by winning the gold in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, long jump, and the
4x100-meter relay. In 1976, President Gerald Ford awarded Jesse the Medal of Freedom, the highest honor a U.S.
citizen can receive. (source: Sports Illustrated Kids)
QUESTION: The 15th Amendment, which granted African Americans the right to vote, was passed on which
A. February 3, 1870
B. July 14, 1889
C. November 19, 1910
Answer: A. February 3, 1870 (source: Information Please)
QUESTION: Who is generally considered the mother of the civil rights movement?
A. Harriet Tubman
B. Susan B. Anthony
C. Rosa Parks
Answer: C. Rosa Parks. Her refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger triggered the 1955-1956
Montgomery bus boycott. An escaped slave, Tubman became a successful "conductor" on the Underground
Railroad. Anthony is generally considered the mother of the women’s rights movement.
QUESTION: Who was the first African-American woman to serve in a presidential cabinet post?
A. Shirley Chisholm
B. Patricia Roberts Harris
C. Condoleezza Rice
Answer: B. Patricia Roberts Harris served as secretary of housing and urban development under President Jimmy
Carter. Before that, she had been the first African-American woman to hold a U.S. ambassadorship, which was to
Luxembourg under President Lyndon B. Johnson.
|The owner and originator of all information are gathered from various sources and most artists of each photograph are unknown.
All credit belongs to the original author and/or artist.
|Dr. Martin Luther King’s
"I have a Dream"
|Dr. Martin Luther King’s
"I have a Dream"
|What Is Black History Month?
|Take the time as a family to learn about the history of African-Americans. While reading their biographies,
discuss how their contributions have impacted our society, what obstacles they had to face, and what character
virtues they display.
Devote a Family Night to enjoying African games and crafts. Use these fun activities as a way to get your kids
thinking about African-American heritage
|Through struggle, perseverance and courage, many African-Americans have made significant contributions to
history, science, government, sports, entertainment, and our culture. Their stories and backgrounds are varied,
but they all provide great lessons in history and character.
Click Here to learn more
|Brief Bio of Memorable Black African Americans
|Carter G. Woodson
African American historian, author, journalist and the founder of the
Association for the Study of African American Life and History. He was
one of the first scholars to value and study Black History. He recognized
and acted upon the importance of a people having an awareness and
knowledge of their contributions to humanity and left behind an impressive
legacy. A founder of Journal of Negro History, Dr. Woodson is known as
the Father of Black History.
Kentucky to put himself through high school. He graduated from Berea
College in Kentucky in 1903, and then went on to Harvard for his Ph.D.
American history books, even though blacks had been part of American
history from as far back as colonial times. And when Blacks were
something about that. In 1915, he established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now
called the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History) and then founded the Journal of Negro
History and Negro History Bulletin. Then in 1926 he started promoting the second week of February as Negro
Woodson chose February because the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass were
in that month. These were two men who had a great influence on Black Americans.
In addition, several other important events took place in February. For example, the 15th Amendment, which
said that the right to vote could not be denied on account of race, was ratified on Feb. 3, 1870.
W.E.B. DuBois, educator and writer, was born in February 1868. The first Black U.S. senator, Hiram Revels
(far right), took his oath of office in February 1870. The founding of the NAACP in 1909 took place in February,
as did the murder of Malcolm X in 1965, and the Greensboro, North Carolina, sit-in at the Woolworth’s lunch
counter in 1960.
|Characterizing Black History Month
|Christians Benefiting from Black History Month
|Hope. It is all about promoting hope—hope for a better tomorrow that springs from the lessons, the tears and
the joys of what has gone before. It’s a hope that grows from understanding and from truth—and from the power
Thank Jesus Christ, because He takes all our meager efforts and turns them into a real and true hope that sees
past all the challenges of the present and into a future where His love binds all people together, all people of all
backgrounds and races and histories all bound together as one in Him.
|The civil rights movement was born in Christian faith and values. The early leaders of the movement were
Christian ministers, Black and white alike, who saw injustice and worked in nonviolent ways to bring the love of
Jesus Christ to bear on a system that reflected neither the gospel itself nor the deepest values of the U.S.
As Christians, when we rehearse that struggle and celebrate the positive achievements of Americans who
excelled despite having been socially marginalized, we affirm the values and responsibilities of our faith.
|The Life and Times of Martin Luther King Jr.
|Black History Quiz
|| Home | Life Without Blacks | Black Inventions | Blacks Making History | Black History Facts | Contact Us | Site Map |
|High school students are hit by a high-pressure water jet from a firehose during a protest in Birmingham, Alabama, in
1963. Images like this one, printed in Life, inspired international support for the demonstrators.
(Image credit: Charles Moore, Black Star)
|Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1964, at a press conference.
(photo by Walter Albertin)
|This image of Parker High School student Walter Gadsden being attacked by dogs was published in The New York
Times on May 4, 1963.
(Image credit: Bill Hudson, Associated Press)
|September 5, 1963:
Group of African Americans viewing the bomb-damaged home of Arthur Shores, NAACP attorney,
|Photographed in 1863 – Peter, a man who was enslaved in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, whose scars are a result of a
whipping by his overseer, who was subsequently discharged by Peter's owner.
(Photo on file with U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, online at archives.gov among others.)
|The transatlantic slave trade resulted in a vast and yet still unknown loss of life for African captives both in and
outside of America. Approximately 1.2 - 2.4 million Africans died during their transport to the New World More
died soon upon their arrival.
mystery but may equal or exceed the amount actually enslaved. The
savage nature of the trade, in which most of the enslaved people
were from African, led to the destruction of individuals and cultures.
diseases they caught while living among New World populations. A
database compiled in the late 1990s put the figure for the
Transatlantic Slave Trade at more than 11 million people. For a long
time, an accepted figure was 15 million. Most historians now agree
that at least 12 million slaves left the continent between the fifteenth
and nineteenth century, but 10 to 20% died on board ships. Thus a
figure of 11 million enslaved people transported to the Americas is
the nearest demonstrable figure historians can produce.
|A handbill advertising a slave auction in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1769.
progress called Reconstruction, followed. From 1865 to 1877, under protection
of Union troops, some strides were made toward equal rights for African-
Americans. Southern black men began to vote and were elected to the United
States Congress and to local offices such as sheriff. Coalitions of white and black
Republicans passed bills to establish the first public school systems in most
states of the South, although sufficient funding was hard to find. Blacks
established their own churches, towns and businesses. Tens of thousands
migrated to Mississippi for the chance to clear and own their own land, as 90%
of the bottomlands were undeveloped. By the end of the century, two-thirds of
the farmers who owned land in the Mississippi Delta bottomlands were Black.
American identity formation. Tens of thousands of Black northerners left homes
and careers and also migrated to the defeated South, building schools, printing
Yes great news, but not before the murders, the raping of Black women and children by their White slave
masters - rapes that occurred within only a few feet where the White slave masters worshiped in their church!
Yes, great news, but not before the beatings with whips and chains.
|Sign for "Colored waiting room", Georgia, 1943
|Rosa Louise McCauley Parks
|Deputy Sheriff D.H. Lackey fingerprints Parks during
her February 22, 1956 indictment for organizing a
|Parks on a Montgomery bus on December 21,
1956, the day Montgomery's public transportation
system was legally integrated.
Behind Parks is Nicholas C. Chriss, a UPI reporter
covering the event.
|Describing the Value of Black History Month for non-Blacks
|Brief History Lesson
|Brief History Lesson
February 20, 1895) an American abolitionist, women's suffragist, editor, orator,
author, statesman, minister and reformer. Escaping from slavery, he made strong
contributions to the abolitionist movement, and achieved a public career that led
to his being called "The Sage of Anacostia" and "The Lion of Anacostia".
Douglass is one of the most prominent figures in African American and United
Native American, or recent immigrant. He was fond of saying, "I would unite with
anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong."
American civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, historian, author, and
Du Bois attempted virtually every possible solution to the problem of twentieth-
century racism— scholarship, propaganda, integration, national self-
determination, human rights, cultural and economic separatism, politics,
international communism, expatriation, third world solidarity.
Ph.D. in History, Du Bois later became a professor of history and economics at
Atlanta University. He became the head of the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1910, becoming founder and editor
of the NAACP's journal The Crisis. Du Bois rose to national attention in his
opposition of Booker T. Washington's ideas of social integration between Whites
rights, and the formation of a Black elite that would work for the progress of the African American race.
|King is perhaps most famous for
his "I Have a Dream" speech,
given in front of the Lincoln
Memorial during the 1963 March
on Washington for Jobs and
|Black History Links
|The owner and originator of all information are gathered from various sources and most artists of each photograph are unknown.
All credit belongs to the original author and/or artist.