* 1619 African American indentured servants arrive in the American colonies. By 1690, every colony has slaves. * 1793 Cotton gin increases the need for slaves (1765 – 1825). * 1831 – 1861 Approximately 75,000 slaves escape to the North using the Underground Railroad. * 1857 The Dred Scot v. Sanford case: congress does not have the right to ban slavery in the states; slaves are not citizens. * 1860 Abraham Lincoln is elected president, angering the southern states. * 1861 The Civil War begins.
* 1863 Emancipation Proclamation proclaims that all slaves in rebellious territories are forever free. * 1865 The Civil War ends.
* Lincoln is assassinated.
* The 13th Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting slavery, is ratified. * The era of Reconstruction begins.
* 1866 The “Black Codes” are passed by all white legislators of the former Confederate States. * Civil Rights Act passed, citizenship to African Americans and granting them equal rights to whites. * 1866 The Ku Klux Klan is formed in Tennessee.
* 1868 The 14th Amendment is ratified, defining citizenship. This overturns the Dred Scot decision. * 1870 The 15th Amendment is ratified, giving African Americans the right to vote. * 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case: racial segregation is ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court. * The “Jim Crow” (“separate but equal”) laws begin, barring African Americans from equal access to public facilities. * 1929-1939 The Great Depression.
* 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case: ‘segregation is unconstitutional.’ * 1955 Emmit Till is lynched for whistling at a white women, the murders are acquitted. * Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus. Montgomery bus boycott begins. * 1957 Martin Luther King, Jr. a leading engine of the Civil Rights Movement. * 1964 The Civil Rights Act, prohibiting discrimination of all kinds....