Events in the American Black experience that include people, places, items, and timelines.

Central Park Five case settled

*On this date in 2014, New York City agreed to a $40 million settlement with five men who were falsely convicted in the vicious rape and beating of a Central Park jogger in 1989. The agreement still needs the approval of the city comptroller and a federal judge.

Connecticut aplogizes for slavery

Amistad Statue, New Haven, CT

*On this date in 2009 Connecticut formally apologized for its role and complicity in American Slavery.

The Mardi Gras Indians

*The Mardi Gras Indians are celebrated on this date (Fat Tuesday) in 1732. These African Americans participate as a cultural foundation of New Orleans and Mardi gras history. The Mardi Gras Indians are as much a part of that secret society as any other carnival organization. The heritage of the Mardi Gras Indians is an African based long and hard road, starting in late 1600's with the Indian Village of Tchoutchuoma, near the north gate of the colonial place of what has become the New Orleans French Quarter.

The Colfax Massacre occurs

*On this date in 1873, the Colfax Massacre happened. Also called the Colfax Riot, the violence erupted in Grant Parish Courthouse in Colfax, Louisiana.

Jennings v. Third Ave. Railroad incident

Elizabeth Jennings

*On this date in 1854, Elizabeth Jennings was refused a seat on public Streetcar, setting off the first racial transportation lawsuit in America.
It happened in downtown New York City.

Geroge Stinney executed

George Stinney Jr.

*On this date in 1944, a 14-year-old Black boy executed by South Carolina.

Shaw vs Reno Ruled on in Supreme Court

*On this date in1993, the United States Supreme Court ruled on Shaw v Reno. The Supreme Court's position in this case was a troubled compromise on the issue of race and political redistricting.

1st American book of poetry by a Black woman published

Book Cover (copy)

*On this date in 1773, the first book of poetry written by a Black woman was published in America.

Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral by Phillis Wheatley was published. When her owner the Wheatley’s saw her writing on a wall with chalk. Rather than punish her, the Wheatley’s encouraged her to learn. Their daughter tutored her in reading and writing. Wheatley also studied English literature, Latin, and the Bible, but what she did best was to write poetry.

Fort Mose founded

Historic Marker

*The founding of Fort Mose occurred on this date in 1738. Fort Mose is the site of the first free African settlement in the United States.

It is also one of the original sites on the southern route of the Underground Railroad. Colonial Spanish Florida’s Governor Manuel Montiano established the Fort. Fort Mose gave sanctuary to Africans challenging enslavement in the English Colony of Carolina. Approximately 100 Africans lived at Fort Mose, forming more than 20 households.

Bance Island Opens for slave trade

*Bance Island, Sierra Leone from 1670 is celebrated on this date. This was a major launching point of the Middle Passage to America first settled by English slave traders about 1670.